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Valles Caldera National Preserve

The 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve is situated inside a collapsed volcanic crater in New Mexico’s Jemez Mountain range. The preserve is open to the public but the number of visitors is kept small so that big crowds don’t disturb the fragile New Mexico wildlife and beautiful vistas, or compromise the preserve’s rich history and geology.

Valles Caldera National Preserve offers some of the finest Nordic New Mexico skiing available. In the winter, visitors to Valles Caldera National Preserve can go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing to the center of the Valle Grande. This valle, the largest of several expansive, grassy meadows within the Valles Caldera, is over 3 miles across, and offers rolling terrain, quiet tranquility and breathtaking, snow-covered landscapes. Skiers may also traverse the Valle Grande and enter more remote areas like El Cajete, an oval-shaped meadow at the foot of Redondo Peak, or the History Grove and Jaramillo Meadow, which are some of the prettiest areas of the preserve.