Wet and muddy conditions have forced the temporary closure of the main entrance road into the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Photo by Ranger Dan Kish/VCNP
VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE NEWS
Unfortunately the main entrance road into Valles Caldera National Preserve will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning Thursday, Feb. 20 until further notice. Warm afternoon temperatures have led to steady snowmelt and heavy saturation of the dirt road, resulting in unsafe driving conditions for visitors and high potential for resource damage to the road itself.
Over the past few days alone, there have been reports of vehicles getting stuck or struggling to navigate the deep mud along the preserve’s main entrance road, while causing damage to the road and in some cases to the vehicle itself.
However, the preserve remains open to foot traffic from dawn until dusk for visitors who wish to access winter recreational opportunities from NM-4 including along the Valle Grande and Coyote Call trails. Park rangers also will be stationed near the main entrance gate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.daily to answer questions and provide orientation information to the public.
“While this temporary road closure is necessary for visitor safety and to prevent additional road damage, we encourage visitors to utilize the access points along NM-4 to get into the preserve to enjoy recreating in the snow-covered expanse of the Valle Grande,” said Valles Caldera Supt. Jorge Silva-Bañuelos. “We hope to get the road reopened as soon as conditions allow,” he continued.