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Valles Caldera Hosts Elk Festival

on September 23, 2017 - 5:57am
Two bull elk are fighting one another during the rut season. Courtesy/NPS
Children listen to an expert explain how elk antlers grow. Courtesy/NPS
JEMEZ SPRINGS — Valles Caldera National Preserve is home to one of the largest elk herds in New Mexico. Each fall, the sound of elk bugling in the mountains marks the start of their mating season, known as the ‘rut’.
To celebrate the upcoming elk rut and to learn about this fascinating creature, the National Park Service will host the 9th Annual Jemez Mountains Elk Festival 2-6 p.m. Sept. 30 at the preserve. 
This free, family-friendly festival will feature fun interactive activities and demonstrations. Wildlife experts also will be on hand to answer visitor questions about elk and other Jemez Mountains wildlife.  Rangers will lead hikes and talks showcasing the preserve’s history, geology, and biodiversity.
“Hearing an elk bugle for the first time is unforgettable,” VCNP Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos. “We invite everyone to come learn about elk and the other wildlife that make Valles Caldera home."
For more information on available activities and programs, call 575.829.4100, option #3 or visit
About Valles Caldera National Preserve
About 1.25 million years ago, a spectacular volcanic eruption created the 13-mile wide circular depression now known as Valles Caldera. The preserve is known for its huge mountain meadows, abundant wildlife, and meandering streams. The area also preserves the homeland of ancestral native peoples and embraces a rich ranching history. Visit us at and on Facebook
About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube