In 2016, daily access to New Mexico’s Valles Caldera National Preserve was opened to cyclists. Prior to this, it was limited to occasional windows throughout the year. I’d recently moved to the area and had studied this zone from a distance. Excited, it didn’t take long before I loaded up my bike to see it for myself, the result being the Valles Caldera Supervolcano Explorer, as seen here on the site. Fast forward five years and change is afoot once more!
The Valles Caldera National Preserve is currently seeking public comment to inform and shape future management decisions.
“Valles Caldera National Preserve has initiated a management zoning process to develop a long-term, sustainable, and strategic direction for future planning and management efforts at the Preserve. The goal of this zoning process is to preserve and protect fundamental resources and values within the park, while enhancing sustainable visitor experiences and opportunities. Management zones focus on what resource conditions, visitor uses, and general levels of development could be at the park, rather than the details of how any experiences, outcomes or conditions could be achieved.”
Learn more over at NPS.gov. Given the prevalence of ATVs in the surrounding national forest, we think it’s a good idea to keep this especially quiet pocket of the Jemez Mountains as vehicle-free as possible, in line with how it currently operates. Be sure to share your thoughts over the next week – public comments close on May 5th!
And to tie in with this Dispatch – and the ongoing closure of St. Peter’s Dome Road to public access – we’ve given the whole route a comprehensive reboot. The good news? It’s still reachable by public transport from Santa Fe and Albuquerque. And it still offers a night or two of idyllic, mostly traffic-free riding, along with one of New Mexico’s most scenic hot springs.
Check out the updated route here.
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