Capulin Volcano National Monument - Capulin, New Mexico

A Geological Wonder in Northeast New Mexico
If you're rushing through from Texas to the Colorado Rocky Mountains on U.S. Highway 87 (or vice versa), then I understand why you would not want to stop at Capulin Volcano National Monument. In fact, this was my situation while traveling from Ackerly, Texas to Buena Vista, Colorado in a day. Also, I'll admit that Capulin Mountain doesn't look very large or interesting from the road.

But, having said all that, I did tour the park and I'm really glad I did. The Capulin Volcano site has nice hiking trails and wonderful scenery up top. Also, you can learn about how this mountain was once a mad and fiery volcano. My suggestion is if you're spending any prolonged time hiking, camping or vacationing around Raton, New Mexico; Trinidad, Colorado; or Black Mesa, Oklahoma, then you ought to visit Capulin Volcano National Monument.

Capulin Volcano National Monument
The road cut that travels up Capulin Mountain (left), now an extinct volcano.

Photos, videos and write-up by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - YouTube



February 25, 2014 - As of the date of this writing, admission is $5. The hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You have to come down from the upper parking lot at 4:30 p.m., so schedule accordingly if you plan a prolonged afternoon visit.
Capulin Volcano National Monument The one road that leads to the visitor center and crater rim.
Road Nice and scenic drive through the side of the mountain. It reminded me just a bit of the Pikes Peak Highway.
Capulin Volcano National Monument, NM Arrival at the crater rim.

Now I'm not a geology expert, but this is no ordinary mountain. At the end of the road, you're near the top of the mountain, but then there's a big crater in the middle that you can hike down to.

The gray rocky area in the bottom right was where this volcano shot its lava out.

Crater Vent Trail


Volcanic Plumbing

Crater Vent Trail

The Crater Vent Trail is an easy 0.2 mile hike to the center of the volcano. You can tell that the rocks have a unique color and texture that was related to the volcanic eruption.

As always, you can click any of my images to the left to view them at a larger size. I liked what this information about volcanic plumbing.

Crater Rim Trail Being a Coloradan who's obsessed with standing on high points, I hiked up the Crater Rim Trail.

This is also a well-marked trail made of concrete.

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Baby Capulin, NM

All the while on the rim trail, you'll probably have a beautiful view of the New Mexico plains and mountains. Adjacent are four.

My other New Mexico pages:
  • Sierra De Cristo Rey (Sunland Park)
  • Turtleback Mountain (Truth or Consequences)
  • Bike: San Luis, CO to Taos
  • Bike: Taos to Santa Fe
  • Bike: Alamogordo to Cloudcroft
  • New Mexico Sunset
  • Very Large Array
  • Tree Not sure of the name of it, but an attractive tree.
    Sierra Grande, New Mexico Sierra Grande (elevation 8720 feet) is across the highway.
    Trail Like I said, there are beautiful views all around on the Crater Rim Trail.
    Steve Garufi Hair Self-portrait. The hair looks okay, and I don't look like a dork. :p)

    Information Signs Worth Reading
    Homer Farr
    Homer Farr is the hero who first cared for this wonderful place.
    Trail Map
    About the trails.
    Building a Cinder Cone
    If you are interested in volcanos, you must visit.

    The Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field.


    On the summit.

    The crater and rim trail.

    On the Crater Vent Trail.

    Me being me on the way there. This was in Hartley, Texas. :)

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