4.0
158 votes

Bandera Volcano And Ice Cave

Nm 53, San Fidel, New Mexico 87020 USA

Open Now
Wed 9a-7p
  • Independent
  • Pet Friendly
  • Not Wheelchair
    Accessible
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“a land of fire and ice”

For a real experience in contrast, visit the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano, "The Land of Fire and Ice," right on the Continental Divide. Walk through the twisted old-growth Juniper, Fir, and Ponderosa Pine trees; over the ancient lava trails; down into the cave; and into a dormant volcano. Inside the cave, the natural layers of ice glisten blue-green in the reflected rays of sunlight illuminating natural arctic algae. Take a walk around the Bandera Volcano and view one of the best examples of volcanic eruption in the country. Browse the historic Ice Caves Trading Post featuring ancient artifacts, geologic souvenirs, refreshing snacks, and warm New Mexican hospitality. Click "Learn More" below for more detail.

Located along the Continental Divide, the Ice Cave features two trails: one inside an extinct caldera, the other inside a collapsed lava tube.

TRADING POST In addition to many contemporary Indian arts, the historic trading post features ancient artifacts: pottery, tools, figurines, and more; most of which were found nearby and date back 1200 years! The trading post also features local Native American jewelry, pottery, rugs, and other crafts! The two nearby trails, the Ice Cave and the Bandera Volcano make the historic trading post a worthy pit-stop and hub for a true Ice Cave experience.

BANDERA VOLCANO The volcano is 800 ft. deep and exploded in volcanic fury some 10,000 years ago - very young in geologic time. It is one of the finest examples of an erupted volcano in the country, and one of the most accessible.

The trail to the Bandera Volcano is nearly half a mile long and takes 40 minutes to complete. The trail rises gradually from its base to its lookout, a total 150 feet. The lookout gives clear vantage to observe the shattering effects that shook the earth nearly 10,000 years ago, spewing magma from within, and bursting out the southern side.

ICE CAVE Located in part of a collapsed lava tube, the Ice Cave's temperature never rises above 31º F. The natural layers of the perpetual ice create such an atmosphere that even subspecies of algae can grow fruitful in near freezing conditions.

The trail to the Ice Cave is nearly a quarter mile long, and takes 20 minutes to complete. The viewing platform is located 70 steps from the initial landing near the surface of the lava tube. Note the unusual transition in temperature throughout the descent. The final landing is located within the cave, with a spectacular view of the perpetual ice, and natural cave formation. The cave is subtly lit with the outside ambience, no lighting implements are required.

GEMSTONE MINING The Ice Cave features a gemstone-mining-sluice, pan for gemstones and arrowheads in the olde-time water-tower and trough. Optionally match your treasure to an included key, know what you've uncovered! The gemstone mining sluice is great fun for all ages, and provides an educational diversion for your stay.

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Reviewed by
DanielleBehar

  • Road Warrior
  • 43 Reviews
  • 51 Helpful
July 22, 2014
Rated 5.0

This place was totally awesome! If it is hot, do the volcano first, so you can go down to the ice cave to get cool (cold) after you have hiked up the volcano. Don't forget to take a water and walking shoes! Lava rock is not easy to walk in. History about this place is very interesting...when you are buying tickets ask them about the history and make sure to pick up a map that explains the numbered areas. Have fun...We did!!!

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
cagonz

  • 3 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
July 23, 2014
Rated 5.0

Not too much for my non-exercising husband. The ice cave impressed us all, very cool!

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
tara1969

  • 3 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
July 11, 2014

probably one of the coolest places ever! totally worth the detour off rt. 66 or i40. great family run operation.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
pjudson

  • 15 Reviews
  • 24 Helpful
July 07, 2014

20miles from Grants NM, worth the drive! Round trip hike to volcano crater 1mile. Great site! Another 1/2mile hike to ice cave--amazing! 3, 7 and 8 yr old grandkids hiked with ease...bring water and camera!

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
nicolek12

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
September 20, 2018
Rated 5.0

This place was so interesting and worth going off our route. Don't expect too much with the volcano (it's not Hawaii-style! Haha), but it was cool to see. The Ice Cave though...that was really quite incredible. We had never seen anything quite like it! For the Ice Cave alone, I would recommend this place. We really enjoyed talking to the friendly, knowledgeable owner and the family-owned feel of the place.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
ShannonLyndsay

  • 3 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
March 25, 2017
Rated 5.0

This place was amazing! We did both trials and they were great! bring good walking shoes and some water not a hard hike but a little up hill

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Go Explore Texas!

  • Road Warrior
  • 26 Reviews
  • 18 Helpful
May 04, 2015
Rated 4.0

Great hike and scenery. The family that runs it has been in charge for generations and does a great job of upkeep. Spend some time at the visitor center talking to the owner. I did the Ice Cave hike first and it was a short, easy hike. I uploaded pictures above of the Ice Cave, which was amazing. It stays frozen year round, regardless of the temperature. The volcano hike was much tougher but very scenic and impressive at the end. Hiking on the lava rock was a bit of a chore, so be prepared for that.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Kurt Lundquist

  • Road Warrior
  • 20 Reviews
  • 17 Helpful
March 12, 2015

I don't normally go to privately owed places, but since I was just leaving El Morro National Monument, just down the street, I stopped in to check it out. Owner was super nice and had good stories, since it's been in her family for generations. Also, how often to you get to hike up to an old volcano and Ice cave, The cave was pretty cool and the walk up to the volcano had nice views along the trail. They also give you a nice brochure, that tells you about everything along the way.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
cagonz

  • 3 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
July 23, 2014
Rated 5.0

I visited with my husband and 15 year old son on the way from Texas to The Grand Canyon. A little out of the way, but worth it. The hike to the volcano was just right to use up some of the 15 year old's energy and not too much for my non-exehusband

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
kristeven

  • 7 Reviews
  • 6 Helpful
October 18, 2013

Both the Volcano and the Ice Cave were cool! Worth the visit!

1 person found this review helpful

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Bandera Volcano And Ice Cave

Nm 53
San Fidel, New Mexico
87020 USA

Hours

Open now until 7:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm

Problem with this listing? Let us know.

Good for hiking.

  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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