Valle Trail

Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico

Elevation Gain3,677ft
Trailhead Elevation7,714ft
Elevation Min/Max7714/9508ft
Elevation Start/End7714/7714ft

Valle Trail

Valle Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Los Alamos County and Sandoval County, New Mexico. It is within Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve. It is 5.6 miles long and begins at 7,714 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 11.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,677 feet. This trail connects with the following: Perimeter Trail.

Valle Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Hikes in New Mexico (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Martin
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"The Valle Grande is the largest of the montane valleys lying within the Valles Caldera. It is a grass-filled bowl formed by a series of lakes that puddled inside the collapsed volcano. The grand grasslands are a result of a combination of soil conditions, wildfire, vegetative competition, and high altitude. From the highway that passes along its edge, the valle seems huge. But only by sitting within the bowl can the true size of the valle be comprehended. Looking up at the surrounding walls of the caldera adds the proper perspective and provides a unique view of this scenic location. Early mornings in September, the air is often filled with the calls of bugling elk. This short hike leads to a spot a few hundred feet within the Valle Grande. It is one of two of the Valles Caldera National Preserve’s free, spontaneous hikes. No reservations or access fees are required. However, the preserve’s regulations state that hikers must stay on the trail at all times."

Valle Trail Trip Reports

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This trail starts at the Bandelier Visitor Center in Frijoles Canyon, and climbs south onto the mesa. It is relatively easy walking along the mesa tops, but there are several small canyons to cross and the big one - Alamo Canyon. A 500 ft descent, then ascent, along steep switchbacks. You get to do it again on the way out. The views are great. There was no water in Alamo canyon, so carry what you need. The Yapashi ruins are "OK". Overall, it is a beautiful 12 mile roundtrip.

Valle Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Santa Fe National Forest
Nearby City
Valles Caldera National Preserve
Skill Level
USGS Bland (trail not shown on map); Valle Grande
Local Maps