Are you open today? Yes we are open seven days a week, currently from 9:00am to 6:00pm (Mountain Standard Time).
How much does it cost to see the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano?
For teenagers (age 13 & up) and adults, the general admission rate is $12.00 per person. For children ages 6-12, admission is $6.00 per child and children 5 and under are free. Senior citizens and Military service members are $1.00 off.
Where is the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano located?
The Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano are located in the west-central Zuni Mountain range of New Mexico, where NM State Hwy 53 crosses the North American Continental Divide. Our GPS coordinates are 35˚ 00.002'N by 108˚ 04.388'W at the entrance to our driveway off Hwy 53, and 34˚ 59.592'N by 108˚ 04.836'W at our front door. The location on a highway map is NM State Hwy 53, 25-26 miles southwest of Grants, NM from Exit 81 on I-40. Our mailing address is 12000 Ice Caves Rd. Grants, NM 87020. Historically, we are located along the Zuni-Acoma Trade Route and Coronado's Trail, likely Chacoan outlier site. If you see these signs, you are here. (add pictures of signs?)
Are the trails to the Ice Cave / Bandera Volcano wheel chair accessible?
It is very difficult to get wheelchairs and motorized scooters up and down the trails to the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano, but every year we get several hearty individuals that succeed at doing so. We always try to give the necessary information needed for each individual who would like to give it a try. For those who would like to try it, we do not charge an admission fee. You can call our toll free number at 1-888-ICE-CAVE if you have more questions or want additional information.
What is the address so I can find you with my GPS?
12000 Ice Caves Rd. Unfortunately, many GPS manufacturers still have our location mapped incorrectly. We are physically located about 25 miles southwest of Grants, NM on NM State Hwy 53 (which is also known as Ice Caves Rd.). From I-40 you would take Exit 81, turn south, and follow Hwy 53 25 miles. A good rule of thumb is to try the address in the GPS and it should appear on a wider, street view map as being on NM HWY 53 about 25 miles southwest of Grants and I-40. If the location marked is anywhere inside the town of Grants or north of Grants, then it is in error. Both Apple Maps (TomTom), and Google Maps are verified with the correct location. Use the two buttons listed on our contact page to map them automatically.
Can you give me directions to the Ice Cave coming from Albuquerque?
It is easy to get to the Ice Cave from Albuquerque. Just take I-40 west until you get to Grants, NM then take the Exit 81 and take a left at the top of the exit, turning south on NM Hwy 53, follow that road 25 miles where you will come to our entrance gate that is clearly marked with posts and signs, just take a left and follow our driveway for a half mile to the parking lot.
Can you give me directions to the Ice Cave coming from Gallup?
It is easy to get to the Ice Cave from Gallup. Just take Highway 602 to Highway 53, take a left and follow Higway 53 about 32 miles to our gate. An alternative route is to take I-40 east until you get to Grants, NM then take Exit 81 and take a right at the top of the exit, turning south on NM Hwy 53, follow that road 25 miles where you will come to our entrance gate that is clearly marked with posts and signs, just take a left and follow our driveway for a half mile to the parking lot.
Are you open on holidays?
Yes for most holidays. However we reserve the right to close for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Call 505-783-4303 for information.
What is the weather like today?
Every day is beautiful here, no matter what the weather is like. Often the weather can change 3-4 times in a single day, sunny for the most part then it gets cloudy quickly and dumps lots of rain for a few minutes and then get sunny again just as suddenly. It is remarkable. Generally, it is dry with mild temperatures. We would be very happy to field your phone call at 1-888-ICE-CAVE and give you an up to the minute weather update. You can view an official daily weather forecast at the link below.
Are you open when the weather is bad?
Yes we are open all year long! However we reserve the right to close for weather, or other emergency conditions. Call 505-783-4303 for trail conditions.
When is the best time of year to visit the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano?
It is a good idea to make a point of visiting the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano from March through October because we can have snow during the winter months. But we are now open all year long so just call 505-783-4303 for trail conditions.
What is there to see and do at the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano?
The Ice Cave and the Bandera Volcano are two unique and historic natural landmarks located in the west central Zuni Mountain range of New Mexico. The Bandera Volcano was active about 10,000 years ago and formed one of North America's best examples of an erupted cinder cone. It is spectacular. It poured out about 20 miles of lava flow through a lava tube system over 17 miles long. Most of the lava tube collapsed but some sections remained intact as cave structures. The Ice Cave is located in the lava flow and specifically in a section of collapsed lava tube. At one end of the collapse is a one room cave in which just the right set of geological conditions have combined to form a natural ice box. The temperature in the cave never rises above 31 degrees Fahrenheit. As rain water and snow melt accumulate in the cave, it collects on the ice deposit at the bottom and freezes new layers of ice every year. Scientific research has indicated that the ice has been forming in the cave for over 3400 years. Ancient Native American artifacts recovered and preserved on display in the Trading Post reveal that people have had ongoing interaction with the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano for over 1200 years. In fact, the trail you follow to the Ice Cave is the same pathway people have been walking along to enjoy the natural and refreshing cool depths of the Ice Cave for over a thousand years. The Spanish Conquistadors that explored the area declared it to be "El Malpais" (The Badlands). There are two trails to walk that take one hour at a leisurely pace.. It is a self guided walking tour and you are welcome to take pictures and video if you remember to bring your camera. It is a landscape of contrast, a monument to Earth's volcanic fury, a landscape of ironic, if not mysterious splendor that Cora "Reddy" Candelaria described so long ago when she coined the phrase "Land of Fire and Ice."
How long are the trails?
There are two different trails, both included in the admission fee. You can walk both trails and return to the parking lot in about one hour at a leisurely pace. The trail to the Bandera Volcano is a half mile in one direction that winds around the south side of the volcano to a lookout point. You gain about 150-200 feet of elevation along that trail and the average walking time to the volcano and back is 40 minutes. The trail to the Ice Cave is carved through the top of the lava flow and is mainly level. That trail is 400 yards in one direction and leads you to the stairway that takes you 69 steps down into the one room cave. The Ice Cave trail takes about 20 minutes round trip to walk. You can see both sites and be back to your car in about 1 hour for a total round trip walking distance of a mile and a half.
How difficult are the trails?
Interestingly enough, there is actually a recognized system of rating hiking trail difficulty. Accordingly the trails to both the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano are rated as "Class 1 trails - Easy hiking on well maintained trails." More specifically, both trails are surfaced by hard packed earth and cinders (volcanic gravel). The trails are wide enough for us to operate our maintenance vehicles. The volcano trail has three segments, the first section is level and takes you from the trading post to the base of the mountain. The next section winds up and around the volcano at a gradual incline. The third and last section of the trail levels out into an exposed section of the cinder cone that was washed out when lava broke out from the south side, making it easy to see inside the cinder cone from our trail. The Ice Cave trail is mainly level until you reach the stairway and then 69 steps down into and back out of the cave. The stairway is a sturdy lumber construction and divided into 3 flights with 4 landings. The top 3 landings have rest benches and the stairway had hand rails on both sides. People of all ages and abilities walk the trail every day but everybody is different and has to assess their own capability to walk the trails here.
Can we take a stroller on the trails?
Yes, depending on the size of the stroller's wheels. The trails have some inclines and declines and some heavier graveled portions and it is easier to use strollers with larger wheels. In some places it might be easier to pull a stroller rather than pushing it. The only place where you definitely won't be able to use a stroller is the stairway into and out of the Ice Cave. Visitors just leave the stroller at the top of the stairway and then either carry the child or hold their hand as they walk down and up the steps.
Do I need equipment or special clothes for the trails?
No. You do not need a flashlight or hiking equipment. You should dress comfortably to walk outside for about one hour depending on weather conditions. In the winter, warm clothes are appropriate. In the heat of summertime, it is a good idea to have some protections from the high altitude sunlight. Comfortable walking shoes are also important. We recommend tennis shoes and hiking shoes, but people wear sandals and flip flops occasionally. If you are accustomed to wearing sandals or flip flops you should be able to wear those.
The cave itself is cold inside. It is a one room cave and inside the cave and it is 30 degrees Fahrenheit. You are not in the cold of the cave long enough to need a jacket on a warm day. In fact, it is nice and refreshing to cool off on a hot day, especially if you walk our longer trail up Bandera Volcano first.
Can I take pictures or video?
Yes - we encourage you to take any pictures/videos that you wish. There is no additional charge.
Can I bring food or drinks on the trails?
On hot summer days, we encourage you to bring something to drink to stay hydrated in the high altitude heat and sunshine. Of course, we urge you to bring back any litter and properly dispose of it in the garbage barrels near the Trading Post. Other than that, we prefer that you do not bring food or drinks on the trails or picnic on the trails. We have a very pretty picnic area that you are welcome to use near the Trading Post.
Does the price include both trails?
Yes. The admission fee includes both trails and is the same whether you want to walk one or both.
Why do you charge admission?
As a family owned and operated natural attraction, we must charge admission to pay our employees, pay our bills, and earn a living while preserving and protecting the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano and remaining open and accessible to the public. All of our operating expenses are covered by the revenues from admissions and sales in the Trading Post. We take great pride in our long family heritage of welcoming visitors from all around the world from March through November with old fashioned, New Mexico hospitality. We love this special little piece of the earth and we graciously welcome you to New Mexico's Land of Fire and Ice and appreciate your business.
Do you take credit and/or debit cards?
Yes. We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, Apple Pay, and Android Pay.
Do you offer any discounts?
We offer a $1.00 discount from our admission rates for Senior Citizens 65 years and older, Military service members, and AAA members with a current membership card.
Are pets allowed on the trails?
Yes, pets that are kept on a leash may be brought on the trail.
How many steps are there going down into the Ice Cave?
The stairway consists of 3 flights of steps totaling 72 steps in all. Between each flight there is a platform with a rest bench. There are hand rails on both sides of the stairway.
Why does it stay so cold in the Ice Cave?
The Ice Cave is a unique natural phenomenon that occurs in lava tubes (although very rarely) around the world. For lava tube ice cave formation to occur, just the right combination of characteristics have to be present. Lava tube caves are composed entirely of lava which is porous and riddled with air bubbles. The lava walls, floor and ceiling act as insulation. Another important factor is the physical shape of the cave itself. It must be able to trap cold air in the cave and prevent warm air from entering and circulating. An ice cave must have a floor structure that will allow water to collect rather than drain or leak through fractures. During the cold months of winter, the snow melt and water trapped in the cave will freeze and depending on the ventilation properties of the cave, that ice will serve to keep the temperature in the cave cold throughout the year. Over time, as ice continues to accumulate, a critical mass of ice may develop transforming the cave from conditions that allow seasonal cold and ice deposits to a perpetual ice cave. In the case of this particular ice cave, we know that ice has been present and forming continually for over 3400 years.
How old is the ice in the Ice Cave?
The Ice Cave is formed in one end of a collapsed lava tube. The lava flow originates from the Bandera Volcano which was active approximately 10000 years ago. This date is the absolute oldest time frame that ice could possibly have started forming in the cave as there was no cave prior to the eruption. Over the years, we have had a number of scientific studies of the ice in the Ice Cave. There were two different studies that involved taking core samples of the ice deposit. The deepest ice core that was studied contained some organic material (wooden twigs and a bird feather) which was tested using radiocarbon dating that revealed that ice has been forming in this cave for at least 3400 years continuously. This gives us a reliable time frame between 3400 years ago and 10,000 years ago when ice started forming in the cave.
Can I walk on the ice?
No. In order to sustain and conserve the delicate natural features of the cave, we do not allow anybody to go beyond the bottom platform to view the interior of the Ice Cave. It is also a safety concern as the ice floor is very slippery.
Has anybody ever explored the Ice Cave?
Yes. Over the years, a number of scientific studies have been performed including several cave surveys. The cave system has been thoroughly explored and mapped.
Are there stalagmites or stalactites in the Ice Cave?
No. Stalagmites and stalactites are formed by accumulating mineral deposits that take millions of years to form. The Ice Cave is located in a section of collapsed lava tube originating from the Bandera Volcano which was active only 10,000 years ago. In geologic terms, this time frame is considered to be very recent, much too recent for such cave formations to generate.
Are there icicles in the Ice Cave?
Sometimes. Occasionally, icicles form from the ceiling of the Ice Cave. It happens primarily during wet and cold periods when water is percolating down into the cave from the surface above. Generally, these conditions exist during late winter through spring when snow melt seeps down into the cave and generates icicles. When icicles do form, they usually last between a week and a few months before they either melt away or let go and crash down to the floor. Most years we see some formation of icicles. There have been several years during which series of large and small icicles drape down from the ceiling, often on the eastern side. Usually there are at least a few small icicles that form there.
How did that wall of ice form in the back of the Ice Cave?
The wall of ice present at the back of the ice deposit was formed approximately between 50-100 years ago as early settlers and the US Calvary began to mine ice from the cave floor. As they removed large ice blocks from the cave they started from the top/front of the ice mass and worked down and backward. This created a wall of ice that was nearing total depletion by the mid 1940s. In 1946 the land owner David Candelaria arrived and began operation as a full time tourist attraction and prohibited any further ice mining. At that point, the ice wall was between 12 - 14 feet high measured from the ice floor. Over the years since, the ice floor regenerated as ice layers began to re-accumulate year after year. Since then, the floor of ice has risen relative to the back wall of ice and now the ice wall measures only a few feet above the floor.
Is the ice in the Ice Cave melting?
No. The temperature in the cave is always below freezing and each year more and more ice accumulates in the cave generating more ice mass. Technically speaking, there are some isolated forms of melting that do occur. This is primarily in two forms, isolated surface melting under direct sunlight and general ice ablation which is a process of slow surface evaporation related to changing seasonal air flows into and out of the cave. In either case, the total ice mass continues to increase where any isolated surface melting is temporary and quickly refreezes and where ice ablation results in slight evaporation and is mostly is recaptured by condensing on the ceiling and eventually returning to the floor to refreeze. In the midst of these two types of melting processes is the annual inflow of water freezing into new ice and the total net change in ice mass is always positive.
Is climate change affecting the Ice Cave?
As a natural system, the Ice Cave is undoubtedly tied to the climate. Over the years as a part of natural climate cycles, the effects are evident in the ever changing ice mass formation. More or less net ice mass accumulation, more or less icicles form, cycles of other ice formations in other parts of the cave are almost always different from year to year. Natural climate cycles related to the phenomenon of the El Nino and La Nina weather patterns are very evident when they occur. Long and very wet monsoon seasons that bring warm summer rains are the most obvious as they will deposit several inches of water on top of the ice floor that may take several months to freeze completely to form new ice layers. Over the years, data collected from the many scientific studies indicate that the temperature in the cave has been stable. This is good news. However, it must be noted that the temperature in the cave is indeed freezing at 30 degrees Fahrenheit, but that temperature is really just barely freezing, it is nearly at the thawing threshold. If global climate change results in significant and sustained long term warming, it is quite possible that the cave could be negatively impacted.
How thick is the ice in the Ice Cave?
There are three basic methods that we have used to estimate how thick the floor of ice is. The first method consisted of examining historic photographs of the cave and using image processing, estimate the amount of ice accumulation over the years. As a part of that same study, scientists also took a number of core samples that they were able to measure. A third piece of the puzzle involves interpolating the actual physical cave structure to determine the likely floor of the lava tube. From this information, we estimate that the total thickness of the ice mass deposit is between 18-20 feet.
Are there bats in the Ice Cave?
No. The temperature in the Ice Cave is too cold for bats to want to perch or hibernate there.
Can I climb to the top rim of the volcano?
No. For safety and conservation reasons, we do not allow you to leave the trail and we do not allow anybody to climb to the top of the volcano.
How large is the volcano?
The outside base of the volcano to the top rim measures about 500 feet and from the rim down to the bottom of the cinder cone is about 800 feet deep, making the inside of the volcano lower than the surrounding elevation. It is very rare for a cinder cone to have maintained its interior cone depth which makes Bandera Volcano one of the best examples of a cinder cone eruption in North America. At its widest point, the volcano is about 1,400 feet measured from rim to rim.
When was the last time the Bandera Volcano erupted?
Over the years many scientific studies have been performed to determine when the Bandera Volcano was active. Several of these studies concurred to estimate that it erupted about 10,000 years ago.
Is there any signs of volcanic activity in the area?
At this time there are no signs of any volcanic activity.
Can I explore the lava flow?
For safety and conservation reasons, we do not allow you to leave the trail and we do not allow anybody to explore the lava flow. If you would like to do some of this more advance hiking and explore the lava flow, you can check in with our neighbors at the El Malpais National Monument, just a few miles east of us and they will give you information about where you can go to do that.
Can I take a piece of lava or twisted wood or collect plants?
No, please do not disturb the lava or natural wildlife and plant life.
Why do the trees there grow so twisted?
We have a spectacular landscape here at New Mexico's Land of Fire and Ice. One of its many striking features is the old growth forest and twisted trees that have grown in the lava bed. The reason that the trees grow twisted is likely due to the subsurface conditions that these trees are rooted in. The trees have to twist and contort their root systems to grow in the lava rock and extend to the sun, thus the tops of the trees are affected and often grow to be twisted.
Are there rattlesnakes on the trails?
Rattlesnakes do not thrive at such high elevations. On occasion though, we have found a few pygmy timber rattlesnakes in the lava and on the trails. However, it is a rare occurrence.
Are there mountain lions or bears on the trails?
Mountain Lions and Bears are nocturnal animals and very shy when it comes to interacting with humans. They are around in this area, but it is very rare to see them during operating hours.
If we don't come back from the trails will you send a search party?
Yes we will.
Do I need reservations to see the Ice Cave?
No. You do not need a reservation to visit the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano. We open at 9 am for self guided walking tours.
Do you offer any group discounts?
We do offer discounts for educational groups and groups totaling over 20 people. We encourage you to call ahead to secure the discount and make a group reservation. Even if you show up with your group unannounced, we will be happy to see you and greet you with a smile.
Can I bring a school group/scout group/church group to the Ice Cave for a field trip?
Yes. The Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano make a fantastic opportunity for a fun and educational field trip experience. We do offer discounts for educational groups and groups totaling over 20 people. We encourage you to call ahead to make a group reservation and secure your discount. Even if you show up with your group unannounced, we will be happy to see you and we will greet you with a smile. You may also send us an e-mail to request a group trip at email@example.com
Is the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano part of the National Park Service?
No. The Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano is a family owned and operated natural attraction. Despite being friendly neighbors with El Malpais and El Morro National Monuments, we are not affiliated with the National Park Service and we do not take the National Park passes.
Is the Ice Caves on an Indian Reservation?
No. The Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano is a family owned and operated natural attraction. Besides being friendly neighbors with the Navajo, the Zuni, and the Acoma, we are not within an American Indian Reservation nor do we have any tribal affiliations.
Who discovered the Ice Cave?
We have recovered and preserved a fantastic collection of ancient artifacts on display in our Trading Post which indicate that the first people to discover and interact with the Ice Cave were the late era Anasazi and the early period Pueblo peoples. The first European peoples to have experience the Ice Cave were likely the early Spanish Conquistadors who traveled passed here frequently. It is very likely that Conquistador Coronado himself visited the Ice Cave. Of course, no visit to New Mexico is complete without experiencing the Land of Fire and Ice.
Who owns the Ice Cave?
The Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano is a family owned and operated natural attraction. The family of David Candelaria now own the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano. It has been in the family since the early 1900s and we have a long and proud family heritage of conserving the property and keeping it open to the public.
How old is the Trading Post?
The Trading Post was built in the 1930s as a Saloon and Dance Hall. They used blocks of ice mined from the Ice Cave to keep their beer cold which made it one of the few places in the old west to serve ice cold beer.
Is there a place where we can have a picnic?
Yes, we have a very nice little picnic area that you can use right by the Trading Post and in the shade of several Ponderosa Pine trees.
Can I use my BBQ grill in your picnic area?
We are always very concerned about preventing wild fires and as such, we don't allow conditions in which an open flame is present. You may not build a fire or use charcoal grills in the picnic area. We do not provide BBQ grills.
Do you sell Gasoline or Diesel fuel?
No. We do not have any gasoline or diesel fuel for sale here. The nearest gas station is 16 miles west of us on NM Hwy 53 at Lewis Trading Post. Beyond that, west another 10 miles are two more gas stations in Ramah, NM and there are several more in Zuni, NM. Of course there are also plenty of gas stations in the nearby town of Grants, NM which is 25 miles northeast of us.
Are there restaurants nearby?
Yes. There are a few good restaurants in Grants, NM which is 25 miles northeast of us and to the west along NM Hwy 53 there are several including; Tinaja Family Restaurant - 505-783-4349, the Inscription Rock Trading Company 505-783-4706, the Ancient Way Outpost 505-783-4612, the Stagecoach Cafe in Ramah - 505-783-4288.
Can I camp out there?
We do not allow any camping on the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano property. There are several places nearby that you can camp including on National Monument lands within the El Malpais National Monument and a very nice fully developed campground at the El Morro National Monument. There is also a very nice campground in the Cibola National Forest which is up Forrest Road 50 at Redondo Campground. There is also several commercial camping locations in Grants and along NM Hwy 53 including; the Blue Spruce RV Park, the KOA Campground and RV Park, the Tinaja Family Restaurant and RV Park, the Ancient Way Outpost and also off of NM Hwy 53 at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. You can find links to most of these places here at our links page.
Can I park my RV overnight there in the parking lot?
Do you rent out the cabins there around the picnic area?
Where is the nearest lodging?
The nearest town with lodging is Grants, NM. Closer than Grants, there is a very nice Bed and Breakfast a few miles west of us, the Cimarron Rose B&B - 800-857-5776. There are also camping cabins at the Ancient Way Outpost - 505-783-4612 and there is a nice Bed and Breakfast in Zuni, the Inn at Halona - 800-752-3278.
Are there any campgrounds or RV parks nearby?
Yes. There are several places nearby that you can camp including on National Monument lands within the El Malpais National Monument and a very nice fully developed campground at the El Morro National Monument. There is also a very nice campground in the Cibola National Forest which is up Forrest Road 50 at Redondo Campground. There is also several commercial camping locations in Grants and along NM Hwy 53 including; the Blue Spruce RV Park, the KOA Campground and RV Park, the Tinaja Family Restaurant and RV Park, the Ancient Way Outpost and also off of NM Hwy 53 at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. You can find links to most of these places here at our links page.
Is there room to park my RV or Big Rig in the parking lot?
Yes. The way the parking lot is designed, you can pull in and loop around and park your RV or Big Rig so you are facing out the driveway.
Who makes the jewelry that you sell in the Trading Post?
We try to carry a variety of gift items here at the Trading Post including the arts and crafts of the Native Americans in the area. Here at the Trading Post you can find jewelry, carvings, pottery and other artwork hand crafted by the Navajo, Zuni, Acoma, Santo Domingo, Santa Clara, Jemez, Hopi, and Apache Native American Indians. Aside from the Native American arts and crafts we do sell many other types of gift items including some jewelry and other craft items that are not Native American made.
Where did you get the old pottery that you have on display in the Trading Post?
We have recovered and preserved a fantastic collection of ancient artifacts which are on display in our Trading Post which indicate that the first people to discover and interact with the Ice Cave were the late era Anasazi and the early period Pueblo peoples. All of it was discovered on the private, family owned property near the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano. Most of it was found by the previous owner, David Candelaria in the mid to late 1940s and the 1950s. Most of the ancient pottery and artifacts in the collection displayed in the Trading Post date between 800 and 1200 years old.
Where did you find that old gun on display in the Trading Post?
The old gun displayed in the Trading Post is an 1880 Colt 38-40 that has had its barrel cut short. It was found between the Trading Post and the Ice Cave, just off the trail under a stack of lava rocks.
What is the elevation at the Ice Cave Trading Post?
The elevation at the Trading Post is 7,872 ft above sea level.
What is the Continental Divide?
The Continental Divide is a mountain range that divides the flow of water falling as rain and snow between either the Pacific Ocean to the west or the Atlantic Ocean to the east. In the case of the west central Zuni Mountain range, the water flows west to the Pacific by way of run offs that end up in the Colorado River. Water flows east to the Atlantic Ocean / Gulf of Mexico by way of run offs that end up flowing down the Rio Grande River. The Continental Divide is not necessarily the tallest mountain range on a continent. For example, the Sandia Mountains have many higher peaks than the west central mountains but that mountain range is east of the Rio Grande River and waters that flow from either side of those mountains ends up in the Rio Grande or the Pecos River both of which flow to the Gulf of Mexico. The Continental Divide runs along the western rim of the Bandera Volcano. There is an elevation marker on NM Hwy 53 at the food of Bandera that marks the Continental Divide.
Is there cell phone service there?
There are a few small areas where you can get a good enough cell phone signal to make a call or text message. Right at our entrance gate you can get a strong analog/digital signal from the nearby Verizon tower. You can get a very weak signal in a few places around our parking lot and along the Bandera Volcano trail about two thirds of the way to the lookout point you can get full bars in direct line of sight from the cell tower.
Is there wireless internet available there?
Although we used to provide wireless internet, we no longer do.
Do you have public restrooms there?
When was the last time there was a forest fire in that area?
Nearly every year we have both natural wild fires as well as officially proscribed fires conducted by federal agencies including the National Forest Service, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Wild fires that occur in most areas of the National Monument that does not threaten private property are usually supervised and allowed to burn out naturally. Wild fires that threaten private property are contained and controlled until they are put out.
Is there anything else we can see or do in your area?
Yes, you can spend several days exploring all of the great places in our area. From the Acoma Pueblo to the east, Grants, Mount Taylor and Chaco Canyon to the north and all of the interesting sites along NM Hwy 53 including Inscription Rock Trading Post, El Morro, El Malpais, Zuni, the Old School Art Gallery and the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. You can find more information at this link here.
I have a question that wasn't answered on this page, is there a phone number that I can call?
Yes, please call our toll free phone number at 1-888-ICE-CAVE.