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Bandera Volcano Site & Ice Caves - Near Grants, New Mexico

An Outing In Northwest New Mexico
If you're into extinct volcanoes and ice caves, you might like the Bandera Volcano & Ice Caves. Located on private property, admission is steep at $12 per person. For the fee, you are permitted to hike 0.5 miles to the Bandera Volcano site -- once a magnificent volcano that erupted approximately 10,000 years ago. Also included is short walk to an ice cave, where the fascinating geological make-up keeps water inside the cave frozen. It really did feel like being in a refrigerator ... quite a novelty in the summer!

Having said that, I've must say the high admission gives this place the feeling of a tacky tourist trap, similar to many attractions in Colorado Springs such as Seven Falls, the fake Manitou Cliff Dwellings and the Royal Gorge. If you go, my suggestion is to keep your expectations low.

Aerial image of Bandera Volcano by New Mexico Natural History volcano page.

Photos and videos by Steve Garufi in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - YouTube

Interstate 40 New Mexico


June 2015 - The adventure began with David Herrera and I driving west on Interstate 40.
Ice Cave Sign The sign at the entrance. The Bandera Volcano is located on the Contiental Divide -- pretty neat. :)
Bandera Volcano

Bandera Volcano

After paying admission, we hiked about 0.5 miles uphill on a road that lead to the volcano.

Look, I don't want to be too negative here, but the top photo shows you exactly what you'll see. Unlike Capulin Volcano National Monument, you can not hike down into the cone. Nor can you hike up onto the rim, which would probably provide a more spectacular view. You'll be stuck at this spot, with nowhere else to go... no other way to explore the volcano site.

Along the hike, we saw many dark rocks that were part of the lava flow when this volcano erupted.

Bandera Volcano Crater Information about the crater on our brochure.
Bandera Ice Cave There is a second and shorter hike. In another direction, there is a remarkable ice cave.
Bandera Ice Cave Me and Dave at the ice cave.


The ice cave.

The retired volcano is not too shabby.

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