Celebrate National Park Week in Sandoval County

National Park Week—an annual celebration of our nation’s stunning NPS sites—runs April 22–30, 2023. To recognize the importance of National Parks, many parks—including Valles Caldera National Preserve in Sandoval County—will be offering a fee-free day on Saturday, April 22. 

If visiting Valles Caldera isn’t on your bucket list yet, continue reading! One of the country’s newest national parks and an International Dark Sky Park, Valles Caldera National Preserve is one of only six super volcanos in the world and is the result of a volcanic eruption from over 1.25 million years ago. 

While the park’s history is fascinating, today the park features a variety of outdoor activities, like hiking, biking, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Additionally, for those who opt to stay after dark, you’ll find incredible views of the night sky—perfect for budding or amateur astronomers. Take in the sights of the Milky Way, find constellations and planets, and enjoy the relaxing views without the distraction of city lights.  

For the best night sky views, limit your light usage, as too much light can inhibit your view of the stars. Make yourself comfortable with chairs or blankets and bring a map or an app to help you guide your observation. 

As with all National Park sites, be sure to call ahead or visit the park’s website for updated conditions and hours. And, don’t forget to pack plenty of water and sunscreen!