Known as New Mexico’s land of fire and ice, Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano features two self-guided trails to venture on the continental divide. A leisurely walk through the trails only takes an hour to see the beauty and mystery of both natural landmarks. Are you ready for an adventure?
Ice Caves Trading Post
The Ice Caves Trading Posts hosts artifacts recovered from the cave dating back 1,200 years! Local Native American Jewelry, pottery, rugs, and other amazing artwork is also featured. The Trading Post also has an abundance of souvenirs to commemorate your fire and ice experience. In addition to all of this, there is a convenient dining room where guests can get drinks, snacks, ice cream, and other groceries.
The front of the Trading Post will be where the trail starts, taking you out to the Ice Caves and up the Bandera Volcano.
Bandera Volcano exploded over 10,000 years ago and has since remained dormant. This is one of North America’s finest and most accessible erupted volcanos spanning 1,400 feet wide and 800 feet deep. The trail guides you around the volcano to the best vantage point. The entire trip around Bandera takes about 40 minutes and runs about half a mile long. This massive, gaping hole allows us to partially experience the effects of fiery molten lava.
You’ve seen the fire, now onto the ice. Amazingly enough, Ice Cave is located inside a section of the volcano’s collapsed lava tube and its’ temperate never rises above 31 degrees Fahrenheit. For over 3,400 years the ice layers have been forming to create this natural phenomenon that forms ice masses 20 feet thick. The trail to Ice Cave is a quarter-mile long, 20 minutes round trip, about 70 steps from the landing to the viewing platform. Ice Cave dates back to the Anasazi era and has 1,200 years of human history.
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Looking for more educational diversion? A gemstone mining sluice is a fun option where you can look for gemstones and arrowheads in the water tower and trough.
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