Looking for a great trail in Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico? AllTrails has 12 great hiking trails, running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 8 moderate trails in Valles Caldera National Preserve ranging from 2.9 to 7.9 miles and from 8,713 to 10,449 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

views

wildlife

running

forest

no dogs

bird watching

nature trips

wild flowers

The Valles Caldera Trust was created by the Valles Caldera Preservation Act of 2000 to preserve and protect the historic Baca Ranch of New Mexico

hiking
snow
22 days ago

Always fun to hike a ski mountain during the snowy winter when it’s closed to skiers! Easy parking lol

cross country skiing
snow
23 days ago

on Valle Grande Trail

snowshoeing
27 days ago

Lovely trail for snowshoeing! Completed with my husband and our dog on New Year's Day. We did this after the La Jara loop. The trail descends down to the caldera floor. It was well-traveled and easy to follow today. We could have done it without snowshoes, but we were glad to have them for this trail. (We rented snowshoes for $15 each from the visitors center.) The snow-covered views were breathtaking. Just be prepared for the hike back out. If you're coming from the visitors center, there is a plowed pull-out to the right where you can park, and the trail begins on the other side of the road. It's a little past Coyote Call (which we couldn't get to because that parking area hadn't been plowed). We didn't see anyone else on this trail. Would definitely do again!

on Cerro La Jara Loop Trail

hiking
27 days ago

Loved this trail in the snow today! My husband, dog, and I headed out from Albuquerque for a snowy New Year's Day adventure. The loop begins right by the visitor's center. After talking with a ranger, we opted to do it with just our hiking boots - no snowshoes. That was a good decision, as the snow is very well packed. I can't imagine snowshoes being necessary or even helpful until the next significant snowfall. This distance assumes you go around the loop twice; it's close to a 1.5 mile loop. We started around 9:30 AM and were the first people out. Many more people were arriving by the time we finished. The scenery is so pretty with the snow. Definitely recommended!

hiking
snow
1 month ago

We hiked with our two Pomeranians (they were in backpacks) and the trail was not too difficult except for the first uphill into the trees. The snow had drifted so some spots were up to my knees. Other areas were about 6 to 8 inches but wasn’t terrible. We went counterclockwise. Took us 2.5 hours to complete and we stopped for pictures and water breaks. Beautiful day. Great views of the Calderas. Heard coyotes off in the distance. Lots of coyote and rabbit tracks on the trail. Heard a lone woodpecker not two far away. Very peaceful and quiet. No one on the trail with us.

After registering at the office, we drove several miles to a trail head of sorts. From there, we hiked about three miles in and back. Pure stillness! I've of my all time favorite hikes!

Amazing hike with some great views of Los Alamos, Santa Fe, all the way to Albuquerque. I recommend going clockwise since it will allow for a gradual ascent most of the way to the top with only a few short stretches of 20% grade or better. Counter clockwise has a lengthy stretch of nearly 30% grade that would be a huge mental barrier toward the last stretch to the summit. This area is rocky, but if you go clockwise it’s on the descent and easy to take slow if you have poles. The full trail is a rough gravel (vehicle) trail.

hiking
2 months ago

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
3 months 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
3 months ago

good trail with lots of Aspen trees.

amazing trail, I would not rate as hard more moderate. due to the fire, the trail up the mountain is a little hard to find. make sure and turn left when the loops meet I stead of staying straight on the more worn elk path. very quiet, lots of wildflowers and will be lovely when the Aspen leaves start to change.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike.. relatively short. Route back up the valley is a little slower.

hiking
no shade
5 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
6 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
7 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
7 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.

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