The Valle Grande. Courtesy/VCNP
Valles Caldera National Preserve Is Open
JEMEZ SPRINGS – Valles Caldera National Preserve reopened the main gate and entrance station and resumed normal winter hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Cross-country skiers and snowshoers are invited to be among the first to break snow in the preserve’s 1.5 to 4 feet of snow.
The Coyote Call and Valle Grande trails will remain closed until the parking areas can be plowed for safe parking.
The preserve road from the highway to the entrance station has been plowed, but drivers should expect snow packed and icy road conditions. Vehicles with 4-wheel drive or chains are strongly recommended. For safety, vehicles are not permitted to stop or park along the entrance road; violators may be cited or towed away.
The preserve has miles of ungroomed trails for the adventurous skier and snowshoer. Winter recreationists should be aware they will be traveling in an environment with all its dangers: unpredictable wildlife, changing weather conditions, deep snow, and snow covered streams. Safety is not guaranteed, so be prepared for any situation and know the limits of your ability. Be sure to layer up with insulating, waterproof clothing, wear sunglasses, use sunscreen and carry water.
The Valle Grande Bookstore, managed by Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, has a limited number of snowshoes and poles available for rent as well as hot drinks for sale.
All delayed openings and closures due to winter weather and road conditions will be posted as an alert on the preserve’s website, www.nps.gov/vall, on Twitter @VallesCaldera, on Facebook www.facebook.com/VallesCaldera/ and on the school closures section of the Los Alamos Daily Post, KRQE, KOAT, and KOB news websites.