Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Valles Caldera National Preserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice little hike that takes you down to Valle Grande. Good for all hikers.

Great trail. Easy and quick. The Visitor’s Center has an informative guide you can take with you.

hiking
28 days ago

Love the sweeping views all along this easy trail. The end is breathtaking. This time we came and took some senior pictures. Stunning.

hiking
1 month ago

good trail with lots of Aspen trees.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

An easy, flat trail that gives you some great views of the caldera. Just watch out for prairie dog holes & the prairie dogs themselves (who are cute, but a sign warned that they carry the bubonic plague!)

hiking
4 months ago

Recording is one way-return leg. Nice wildflowers and views at end point into Valles Caldera.

Nice easy loop with beautiful views and wildlife. Park entrance fee is currently waived.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Nice route. only second time here, the first time was in winter and basically hiked my first and last run.

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

My husband (who grew up locally) and I have wanted to hike in the caldera for years, but it wasn't really possible until the recent opening of the national reserve. We had a short time and three kids along on this visit, so La Jara trail was a delightful hike for all of us. The trail is flat and has no shade. The only hazards on the trail are the prairie dog holes and a few places that could be muddy at damp times of year. The trail is mainly a single-file width of matted grass between trail markers. Even if you somehow lost the trail, continuing to circle Cerro la Jara will soon bring you back in sight of the ranger station. There's a picnic table at the farthest point of the loop. La Jara gives a good overview of the area, with the prairie on one side and the wooded mountain terrain on the other. We saw a variety of wildflowers including wild irises, dozens of prairie dogs, eagles, hawks, turkey vultures, a coyote, and elk (sighted by binoculars). There were elk dung and footprints, prairie dog pellets, and coyote droppings. The kids also got their junior ranger patches at the station after completing a short scavenger hunt/interpretive activities.

A fairly easy hike, which would be great for kids. I went the first week of October and all of the Aspen trees were changing colors. The fall colors made the hike incredibly enjoyable!

Easy walk in late September. Made amazing by elk in rut in nearby forest. The bugling was loud and continuous.

hiking
Wed Aug 08 2018

beautiful little trail. super flat and easy so if you have some older folks or kids it would be very easy for them to do!

hiking
Mon Jan 15 2018

Very easy, yet very enjoyable hike. The trail itself consists of mainly just matted grass and is very well marked. The only thing to really watch out for is gopher holes as they can be quite large and deep. Other than that, it was a nice hike and you really can't ask for better views. Ranger Station was well staffed and there were several souvenirs available for purchase. Keep in mind that dogs are allowed on this trail, however they are not in any other trail located near the Ranger Station. Dogs are allowed on two others trails that reside just past the main park entrance on Highway 4.

hiking
Mon Jan 08 2018

This is a great hike that takes you up into the high country with a beautiful meadow and very gradual elevation gain. The first 15 minutes are a bit rocky, but it gets much better after that.

hiking
Sun Sep 24 2017

Easy and pleasant hike. We enjoyed seeing the Valles Grande from this viewpoint.

Total length around the dome is about a mile. Very easy walking on matted grasses.

hiking
Fri Aug 11 2017

Pleasant and flat, good during cool times of the year, all uncovered. Chance for wildlife.

hiking
Fri Apr 01 2016

Newly developed site. Trail was just a walk around a small hill. I suspect the site will see improvements over time

hiking
Sat Mar 15 2014

Easy Trail that gives you a great picnic location with view of the Valles Caldera.

hiking
Sat Jun 15 2013

Impressive. Two herd of elk in the distance. A brief heavy rain brought the temp down a little.

hiking
Sun May 06 2012

Did Bandalier earlier in the day and got there too late in the day to do a longer trail....ended up doing the Jara trail, closest to the staging area. The trail essentially just goes around Cerro la Jara. Short but definitely worthwhile as you definitely take in the Caldera's lowland terrain.

hiking
17 days ago

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27 days ago

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29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

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