Horse-drawn sleighs, moonlight walks, cross-country skiing. Take in the Valles Caldera National Preserve while the snow lasts. The season is scheduled to end March 21, but will only run daily during the holiday season, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 26 through Jan. 3. The Preserve will be open on Saturdays and Sundays after Jan. 3.
The Valles Caldera National Preserve, formerly a private ranch in New Mexico’s volcanic Jemez Mountain Range, was created by Congress in 2000. This 89,000 acre property is situated inside a collapsed crater.This old ranch property is studded with eruptive domes and features Redondo Peak, 11,254 feet high.
The Coyote Call Trail and surrounding area on the south side of State Highway 4 are open for skiing and snowshoeing, free of charge, everyday during daylight hours if you can't wait for the weekend.
Day use cross-country skiing and snowshoeing permits are available as snow and weather allow. Cost is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 62 and older, $5 for youth 6-15, and free for kids 5 and younger. No pets are allowed on the Preserve unless they are working assistance animals. No advance reservations are required but you must check in and depart from the Valle Grande staging area 2 miles down the Preserve's main road.
A free public appreciation day is offered this season Dec. 29. Bring the whole family out to take advantage of the skiing and snowshoeing opportunities on the Preserve.
Special moonlit events will be offered if snow conditions permit. Attend the Fire & Ice New Year's Eve Celebration 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31 There will be fireworks, hot cider, and refreshments. Fees are $25/adult, $20/senior, $15/youth, and free for kids. The Jan.30 and Feb. 27 moonlit events run 6 to 10 p.m. and cost $15/adult, $12/senior, $10/youth, and free for kids. Visitors should come prepared for high elevation, winter mountain weather, and night conditions.
Climb aboard horse-drawn sleighs for an hour-long ride through the winter landscape. Visitors experience the elements, the solitude of winter, and possibly the wildlife of the Preserve. Listen as your guide tells tales of the history and lore of the old Baca Ranch. Rides cost $30/adult, $24/senior, $15/youth, and free for kids. Reservations are recommended.
For information. Or call 866-382-5537.