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Los Amigos de Valles Caldera - Elk Viewing Tour

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Location

Valles Caldera National Preserve

39201 New Mexico Hwy 4

Jemez Springs, NM 87025

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Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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Event description

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Los Amigos de Valles Caldera is pleased to offer a series of van tours to observe elk during their mating season at Valles Caldera National Preserve.

The preserve is a core breeding area for elk. The breeding season or “rut” begins in September and ends in October and consists of males bugling, wallowing and thrashing, digging and rubbing antlers. The best time to catch a glimpse of these behaviors is at dusk.

The guided tours will take participants on the backcountry driving route through the Valle Grande, past the Valle Jaramillo, to the Valle San Antonio. Guides will share information about the Jemez mountain elk herd such as behavioral changes during the breeding season and what affects elk movements.

Tours will begin at 5:30pm at the Valle Grande Entrance Station and will last approximately 2 hours. A light snack and water will be provided.

We hope you will join us for this unique opportunity. Space is limited, reserve your seat now!


FAQs

What's provided?

  • Good company, and knowledgeable guides
  • Water and a light snack
  • Information about the Jemez Mountain elk herd


What to bring to the event?

  • Dress warmly, temperatures can drop into the 40s after dusk
  • Rain jacket
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Flashlight or headlamp

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

For questions about the tour, please contact Los Amigos de Valles Caldera at: losamigos@losamigosdevallescaldera.org

What's the cancellation/refund policy?

If you need to cancel your reservation for any reason, you can do so for full refund up to 7 days prior to the scheduled tour. Cancellations after that will forfeit the cost of the tour.


What if the tour is cancelled?

In the unlikely event that Los Amigos has to cancel a tour for unforeseen circumstances like mechanical problems, inclement weather, or an unplanned closure at the preserve, every effort will be made to notify registrants as soon as possible and a full refund will be issued.


Are we guaranteed to see elk?

Though we cannot guarantee that every tour will encounter elk, the lengthy route through various areas of the preserve at dusk will give participants the best possible chance of seeing the animals. There is always the possibility of not seeing the elk if the elk choose to be somewhere else, but participants will still get to experience the preserve in the evening, after hours, with a knowledgeable guide.


Driving Directions to Valles Caldera National Preserve:


From Albuquerque via Los Alamos:
  • Take I-25 north to Route 599 (Santa Fe Relief Route) - follow signs on 599 north to Los Alamos- Espanola).
  • In Pojoaque, follow signs to Los Alamos and Hwy 502.
  • You can take the "truck route" to Highway 4 below Los Alamos or drive through Los Alamos and follow signs to "Jemez Mtns." (State Hwy. 4)
  • (If you pass through Los Alamos proper, take Trinity Drive to Diamond. Take a left on Diamond, then a right on West Jemez Road to the intersection with State Highway 4. Take a right [away from Bandelier National Monument], following the highway up and into the Jemez Mountains.)
  • The Preserve is 18 miles up Highway 4 from Los Alamos. Driving time from the intersection of I-25 and I-40 is approximately 2.5 hours.

From Albuquerque via Jemez Springs:
  • Take I-25 North and Exit on to Highway 550 (Farmington Highway - old Hwy 44).
  • In San Ysidro, take Hwy 4 to Jemez Pueblo and Jemez Springs.
  • Follow Highway 4 at fork at La Cueva (stay right).
  • Preserve is about 22 miles from Jemez Springs. Look for the Main Gate at Mile Marker 39.2.
  • The Preserve is 21 miles up Highway 4 from Jemez Springs. Driving time from the intersection of I-25 and I-40 is approximately 2 hours.

From Santa Fe:
  • Head north on Highway 84-285 past the Santa Fe Opera.
  • In Pojoaque, follow signs to Los Alamos and Hwy 502.
  • You can take the "truck route" to Highway 4 below Los Alamos or drive through Los Alamos and follow signs to "Jemez Mtns." (Hwy 4)
  • (If you pass through Los Alamos proper, take Trinity Drive to Diamond. Take a left on Diamond, then a right on Jemez Road to the intersection with State Highway 4. Take a right [away from Bandelier National Monument], following the highway up and into the Jemez Mountains.)
  • The Preserve is 18 miles up Highway 4 from Los Alamos. Driving time from Santa Fe is approximately 1.5 hours.


Additional information about Valles Caldera National Preserve can be found at: https://www.nps.gov/vall


PHOTO CREDIT: Dan Williams

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Date and Time

Location

Valles Caldera National Preserve

39201 New Mexico Hwy 4

Jemez Springs, NM 87025

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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