"Coyote Call Hike" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Valles Caldera

National Preserve - New Mexico

The Valles Caldera National Preserve is located in northeastern Sandoval County and southern Rio Arriba County, just west of Los Alamos. It protects a large portion of the Valles Caldera, an area of significant geological, ecological and cultural interest.

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Official Visitor Map of Santa Fe National Historic Trail (NHT) in Colorado, Kansas, Misouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Santa Fe - National Historic Trail

Official Visitor Map of Santa Fe National Historic Trail (NHT) in Colorado, Kansas, Misouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official visitor map of Valles Caldera National Preserve (NPRES) in New Mexico. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Valles Caldera - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Valles Caldera National Preserve (NPRES) in New Mexico. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Logging Map of Valles Caldera National Preserve (NPRES) in New Mexico. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Valles Caldera - Logging Map

Logging Map of Valles Caldera National Preserve (NPRES) in New Mexico. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map detail of Cabins in Valles Caldera National Preserve (NPRES) in New Mexico. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Valles Caldera - Cabins Detail

Map detail of Cabins in Valles Caldera National Preserve (NPRES) in New Mexico. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official visitor map of Bandelier National Monument (NM) in New Mexico. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Bandelier - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Bandelier National Monument (NM) in New Mexico. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the Southwestern area of Santa Fe National Forest (NF) in New Mexico. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Santa Fe MVUM - Southwest 2021

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the Southwestern area of Santa Fe National Forest (NF) in New Mexico. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the Northwestern area of Santa Fe National Forest (NF) in New Mexico. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Santa Fe MVUM - Northwest 2021

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the Northwestern area of Santa Fe National Forest (NF) in New Mexico. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

https://www.nps.gov/vall/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valles_Caldera_National_Preserve The Valles Caldera National Preserve is located in northeastern Sandoval County and southern Rio Arriba County, just west of Los Alamos. It protects a large portion of the Valles Caldera, an area of significant geological, ecological and cultural interest. About 1.25 million years ago, a spectacular volcanic eruption created the 13-mile wide circular depression now known as the Valles Caldera. The preserve is known for its huge mountain meadows, abundant wildlife, and meandering streams. The area also preserves the homeland of ancestral native peoples and embraces a rich ranching history. From Jemez Springs, NM: Follow NM-4 north. The Preserve is about 22 miles from Jemez Springs. Look for the Main Gate and signs at Mile Marker 39.2. From Los Alamos, NM: Take Trinity Drive to Diamond. Take a left on Diamond, then a right on West Jemez Road to the intersection with NM-4. Take a right [away from Bandelier National Monument], following the highway up and into the Jemez Mountains. The Preserve is 18 miles up NM-4 from Los Alamos. Look for the Main Gate and signs at Mile Marker 39.2. Entrance Station The Entrance Station is your first stop in Valles Caldera National Preserve. Rangers are available to answer questions, issue backcountry vehicle permits, and issue fishing permits. Preserve-related items are for sale. Two accessible, unisex, vault-toilet restrooms are available across the parking lot. From Jemez Springs: Take NM4 north for about 22 miles. Main entrance is at just past mile marker 39. Travel two miles down dirt road to the contact station. From Los Alamos: Take West Jemez Road to NM4. Take a right [away from Bandelier National Monument], follow the highway up and into the Jemez Mountains. The Preserve is 18 miles up NM4 from Los Alamos. Main entrance is just before mile marker 39. Travel two miles down dirt road to the contact station. Ranger Station Located on the edge of the historic cabin district, the log cabin has basic exhibits and a sales area offering park-related clothing, gifts, books, and a few snacks and beverages. The building is NOT accessible and there are NO public restrooms in this building. From Jemez Springs: Follow NM4 north for 22 miles. The entrance has a gate and signs on your left. Follow the dirt road 2 miles to the Entrance Station. Obtain a Backcountry Vehicle Permit and follow the dirt road another 2 miles. From Los Alamos: Follow NM4 west for 18 miles. The entrance has a gate and signs on your right. Follow the dirt road 2 miles to the Entrance Station. Obtain a Backcountry Vehicle Permit and follow the dirt road another 2 miles. San Antonio Cabin San Antonio cabin under a mostly cloudy sky San Antonio Cabin often housed cowboys when the preserve was privately-owned and operating as a ranch. Elk Bulls Fighting Two bull elk fighting. The fall elk rut is a big attraction for visitors to see bull elk sparing and to hear the bulls bugle. Wide Open Views of Valles Caldera Scattered clouds over landscape view of winding river and brown grasslands The views of Valles Caldera are some of nature's best Wildlife Wonders of Valles Caldera Photo of young bobcat looking at the camera Bobcats, eagles, elk, and black bears call the Valles Caldera home. Wild Turkey hens and a tom too! Forest floor with three hen turkeys and a tom turkey fanning his tail in display Birding in the Preserve can be very rewarding! High altitude Landscapes Landscape view with grasses, a pond, fir trees, and a mountain background Hiking opportunities abound in the Valles Caldera. Valles Caldera Rainbow A rainbow coming down across a grassy valley with a pine tree. As thunderstorms roll over the caldera, they leave colorful rainbows. Fall Color in Valles Caldera Aspen tree trunks with golden fall leaf color above Visiting the Valles Caldera in fall offers wildlife and colorful viewing National Park Getaway: Valles Caldera National Preserve Among the newest additions to the National Park System, the 88,900-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve is a surprising gem at the top of the Jemez Mountains in north-central New Mexico that helps earn the state its motto—“The Land of Enchantment.” Horseback riders NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. [Site Under Development] valley and fall trees Prescribed Burns Planned on Valles Caldera National Preserve Fire managers are planning to take advantage of favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and forecasted weather, to conduct prescribed burns within Valles Caldera National Preserve during October 1 through December 31. The exact dates will depend on conditions on the ground. Prescribed Burns to Begin on Valles Caldera National Preserve Given favorable conditions, fire managers will begin prescribed burn operations within Valles Caldera National Preserve starting October 17. Burn operations are expected to last a few days, but smoke may be visible through next week. Map depicting prescribed burn area for Fall of 2019 in Valles Caldera National Preserve. Wildland Fire in Douglas Fir: Western United States Douglas fir is widely distributed throughout the western United States, as well as southern British Columbia and northern Mexico. Douglas fir is able to survive without fire, its abundantly-produced seeds are lightweight and winged, allowing the wind to carry them to new locations where seedlings can be established. Close-up of Douglas fir bark and needles. Valles Caldera National Preserve Acquires Property with Unique Volcanic Features Valles Caldera National Preserve Acquires Property with Unique Volcanic Features Volcanic features surrounded in forest. Wildland Fire in Ponderosa Pine: Western United States This forest community generally exists in areas with annual rainfall of 25 inches or less. Extensive pure stands of this forest type are found in the southwestern U.S., central Washington and Oregon, southern Idaho and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Recently burned ponderosa pine forest. 'Mantén Viva la Llama' - 'Keep the Flame Alive!' Mantén Viva la Llama' --'Keep the Flame Alive!’ describes the theme of the Spanish Language Training Exchange (TREX) held near Santa Fe, New Mexico in October of 2019. The two week TREX program brings diverse fire practitioners from many Spanish speaking countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Spain, together to build skills in prescribed fire, fire management, and fire ecology. monitoring surface vegetation Valle Grande Prescribed Fire An Ecological Success On May 11 & 12, 2016 the National Park Service (NPS) fire staff, along with many interagency partners, was able to successfully implement a prescribed fire in the Valle Grande of the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The blackened Valle Grande will turn a rich green with the late spring moisture and will attract wildlife, especially elk. Firefighter ignites prescribed burn with a driptorch Valles Caldera National Preserve Plans Fall Prescribed Burns to Reduce Fuels Loads, Improve Forest Resilience The National Park Service is planning to initiate prescribed fires in the southwest corner of Valles Caldera National Preserve later this fall to reduce hazardous fuels, improve wildlife habitat, and create healthier, more resilient forest and watershed ecosystems. Fire creeping at along the ground through a thinned ponderosa pine forest. Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display at a visitor center Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Quaternary Period—2.58 MYA to Today Massive ice sheets advanced and retreated across North America during much of the Quaternary, carving landscapes in many parks. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve contains geologic evidence of lower sea level during glacial periods, facilitating the prehistoric peopling of the Americas. The youngest rocks in the NPS include the lava of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the travertine at Yellowstone National Park, which can be just a few hours old. fossil bone bed and murals of mammoths Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display in a visitor center Find Your Park on Route 66 Route 66 and the National Park Service have always had an important historical connection. Route 66 was known as the great road west and after World War II families on vacation took to the road in great numbers to visit the many National Park Service sites in the Southwest and beyond. That connection remains very alive and present today. Take a trip down Route 66 and Find Your Park today! A paved road with fields in the distance. On the road is a white Oklahoma Route 66 emblem. Crater Lakes Crater lakes are volcanic lakes found in craters and calderas. crater lake and snowy rim An Endangered Amphibian on an Active Volcano:  the Jemez Mountains Salamander at Valles Caldera Valles Caldera National Preserve is a very important place for the Jemez Mountains salamander. The preserve is one of the largest, fully protected areas throughout the species’ historical range. The Natural Resource Condition Assessment Program recently partnered with Utah State University to determine what we know about the salamander in the preserve and how it is doing. Find out more about this secretive creature and what we learned. brown salamander in vegetation debris Fumaroles Fumaroles are common features on active volcanoes, and are an important sign that a volcano is active in that fumaroles indicate the presence of heat from volcanic sources. steam vents on the crater rim Ultra-Plinian Eruptions These caldera-forming eruptions are the largest of all volcanic eruptions. These eruptions have higher eruption rates that form higher eruption columns and produce widespread pyroclastic flows. View overlooking extensive flat ground covered with trees and meadows Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background Volcanic Domes Lava domes are steep-sided rounded accumulations of highly viscous silicic lava over a vent. Some domes are part of composite volcanoes, but large ones can make up their own volcanoes. Lassen Peak is a dome. photo of a rounded hill of blocky rock Life on Redondo Peak: Plant and Arthropod Diversity at Valles Caldera’s Highest Elevations Valles Caldera National Preserve: Redondo Peak is the highest point in the preserve (11,260 feet in elevation). A comprehensive inventory of plants and animals was conducted there in 2014. A recent condition assessment for the preserve focused on inventory results for plants and arthropods, and, among other things, found 101 plant species on Redondo Peak (98 of them native), 60 moth species (including four newly recorded for the park), and at least 75 species of spiders. Steep slop covered in rocky grey talus. Spruce fir in the distance Series: NRCA 2021: Condition of Valles Caldera’s Natural Resources and Scenic Views Valles Caldera National Preserve, in the Jemez Mountains in north-central New Mexico, is a high elevation ecosystem at elevations ranging from 8,000 to 11,254 feet. A recent Natural Resource Condition Assessment evaluated seven resources at the preserve: landscape connectivity, visual resources (or scenic views), Redondo Peak diversity, wetlands, New Mexico meadow jumping mouse habitat, the Jemez Mountains salamander, and songbirds. Dark sky with stars reflected in a wetland pond What’s furry, has big back feet, and lives by a stream? Answer: The New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse! Valles Caldera National Preserve: One of 22 known populations (in New Mexico) of the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse lives in stream-side wetlands in Valles Caldera National Preserve. As part of a recent study, the NPS and its partners summarized the occurrence of the mouse in the park and surrounding area, identified potential jumping mouse habitat in the park, and identified two indicators of habitat condition that could be used for a future condition assessment. A brown furry mouse amongst green grass. Songbirds at Valles Caldera National Preserve Valles Caldera National Preserve: Do you have a favorite songbird species that visits your feeder or nests in your yard or local park? With its variety of habitats, Valles Caldera has nearly 200 species of birds on its checklist, with 117 species known or suspected to breed there. A recent condition assessment at the preserve used existing data to assess songbird species richness and abundance, and to see if key indicator species of each habitat type were present. Small grey and yellow bird with a tiny beak perched on a branch. Photo by Robert Shantz. Restoring Wetlands at Valles Caldera Valles Caldera National Preserve: Wetlands are some of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth. Among their many values are providing fish and wildlife habitat, improving water quality, and easing damage from floods and storms. As in many other places, wetlands in Valles Caldera have been impacted by human activities of the past. However, wetlands in the preserve are being restored, and according to a recent condition assessment, restoration efforts are working. Stream slowing and pooling behind some rocks placed in the channel, surrounded by green grass. How’s the View? We’ve Been Looking at that at Valles Caldera Valles Caldera National Preserve: Scenic views in national park units contribute to a visitor’s ability to connect with nature and experience the values of a park, but views can be affected by human-related development and activities. A recent Natural Resource Condition Assessment at Valles Caldera “looked at” the condition of views at seven locations within the preserve and found they were in good condition overall. large white moon rising in a pink sunset above a cabin in the grassy caldera Condition of Valles Caldera’s Natural Resources and Scenic Views: 2021 Assessment NRCA Overview: Valles Caldera National Preserve, in the Jemez Mountains in north-central New Mexico, is a high elevation ecosystem at elevations ranging from 8,000 to 11,254 feet. A recent Natural Resource Condition Assessment evaluated seven resources at the preserve: landscape connectivity, visual resources (or scenic views), Redondo Peak diversity, wetlands, New Mexico meadow jumping mouse habitat, the Jemez Mountains salamander, and songbirds. Pine forest with snow. Series: Volcanic Features Volcanoes vary greatly in size and shape. Volcanoes also may have a variety of other features, which in turn, have a great range in diversity of form, size, shape, and permanence. Many volcanoes have craters at their summits and/or at the location of other vents. Some craters contain water lakes. Lakes of molten or solidified lava may exist on some volcanoes. Fumaroles and other geothermal features are a product of heat from magma reservoirs and volcanic gases. photo of a lava lake in a summit crater

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