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Grants, New Mexico: Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano Team Field Report

12000 Ice Caves Rd, Grants, NM
From Route 66 (or I-40 exits 81 or 81A), on the west edge of Grants, turn south at the stoplight (McDonald's) onto NM-53. Drive 25 miles. Turn left (no stoplight) at the Ice Cave sign and drive a half-mile to the entrance.
March-Oct. daily 9-6 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $12.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano.

Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano

Short hikes to a volcano crater and an ice cave, where the water is perpetually frozen. A vintage trading post includes a museum of the attraction's history and a gift shop. Report... [10/16/2022]

Visitor Tips and News About Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano

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Ice Cave and Bandera Crater

It's the only place on earth where you can find arctic algae in the middle of the desert, and how it got there is a complete mystery. Located on the Continental Divide, and formed in a collapsed lava tube, the Ice Cave stays cold even in the heat of summer. Visitors can climb Bandera Volcano, the best example of a cinder cone volcano in the United States.

[Seana Miracle, 08/31/2022]

Ice Cave.

Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano

You have to hike to both the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano, but the path is well marked and easy to traverse. There are markers along the way and a brochure they give you that tells you about each spot along the hike. To really see the Ice Cave (and, yes, it is only 31 degrees), you have to be able to traverse up and down about 70 steps. There is a midpoint stop with a bench if needed.

The hike to the Bandera Volcano is about a mile and there is elevation, but a well marked and wide trail. There are quite a few benches along the way to sit and enjoy the scenery. My family of 5 loved both attractions!

[Kelli, 07/07/2017]


Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano

Very cool! Ice Cave is amazing and wonderful. The hike to the volcano is long and uphill the whole way. So take water and wear good shoes! Great stop!

[Sarah, 06/28/2014]

July 2017: Photo added.

Ice cave.

Bandera Volcano and Ice Cave

Old time trading post built in the 1930s is the entrance. It has a mini museum of the history of the property and is a gift shop. Both the volcano and ice cave is included in the admission price. A short, easy hike gets you to Bandera Crater (volcano) that erupted over 10,000 years ago. Another short, easy hike plus some steps down gets you to the ice cave. The ice cave was originally formed over 3,400 years ago and never reaches above 30 degrees. The ice in the cave has been mined over the centuries by Indians and most recently in the 1940s to keep beer cold at a local saloon. Definitely worth the price of $11 admission for adults.

[Amanda B, 07/06/2013]

The one-two punch of a fire AND ice attraction. The volcano crater is almost 800 feet deep, and the ice cave temperature never goes above freezing. July 2017: Photo added.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Route 66 Neon Drive-ThruRoute 66 Neon Drive-Thru, Grants, NM - 17 mi.
Replica Uranium MineReplica Uranium Mine, Grants, NM - 17 mi.
Wild Spirit Wolf SanctuaryWild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, Candy Kitchen, NM - 26 mi.
In the region:
Big Indian and Navajo Code Talker, Gallup, NM - 53 mi.

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