So we are driving along Highway 64 in the Northwest corner of New Mexico and we see this mound that can’t be missed. It just stands out from the surrounding features.

 

 

Capulin Volcano - Turn off of Highway 64 in Capulin

Capulin Volcano – Turn off of Highway 64 in Capulin

We had some extra time built into our trip to see these types of places. So we took the turn off to visit a volcano.

 

Capulin Volcano - Monument Entrance Sign

Capulin Volcano – Monument Entrance Sign

This is a national monument which is part of the National Park System.

 

Capulin Volcano - Visitors Center and Temporary Center

Capulin Volcano – Visitors Center and Temporary Center

They were remodeling the Visitors Center (on the left) at the time of our visit. The small shack on the right served as the temporary Visitors Center. This is where you pay the $7 fee to drive to the top of the volcano or do some hiking if you choose.

 

Capulin Volcano - Trails and Safety Sign

Capulin Volcano – Trails and Safety Sign

This sign gives you an idea of the 2 mile drive up to the top. It also highlights the hiking trails and the rules. Be careful hiking as there are many signs warning of rattlesnakes.

My wife was a bit hesitant about the drive. She hates driving “scary” roads but braved this one courageously and was glad she did it in the end.

 

Capulin Volcano - Elevation 7877

Capulin Volcano – Elevation 7877

You do need to pay attention to the elevation. At nearly 8000 feet it is a bit harder to breathe for many. I was very glad that we brought some oxygen with us. 

 

Capulin Volcano - Restrooms and Upper Trail

Capulin Volcano – Restrooms and Upper Trail

At least they thought of having restrooms at the top. The stairs at the left lead to the rim trail if you are daring enough.

 

Capulin Volcano - Grasslands Meet Mountains

Capulin Volcano – Grasslands Meet Mountains

One of the reasons that this volcano stands out from the rest of the scenery is that the region is transitioning from the flat grasslands to the mountains to the Rocky Mountains. 

 

Capulin Volcano - Looking Down into Volcano

Capulin Volcano – Looking Down into Volcano

This is the view from the parking lot down into the volcano. I did hike down to the bottom which is a relatively short hike. The hike down was not bad. The hike up was a bit harder. That’s when I needed the oxygen. That is also the time I was glad I did not hike the rim trail although I might on another trip because the views would make it worth it.

 

Capulin Volcano - View Looking SW with Visitor Center at Bottom

Capulin Volcano – View Looking SW with Visitor Center at Bottom

While the hike down to and the view from the bottom were interesting, it’s the views looking out from the rim that are gorgeous. This is why most people would come here. The white-roofed building in the left center is the Visitor Center.

 

Capulin Volcano - Panoramic View

Capulin Volcano – Panoramic View

Even if you don’t hike this view is well worth the drive up to the top. I mean how many opportunities do you get to go to the top of a volcano as well as going down to the bottom of one?

 

 

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”156″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_pro_masonry” size=”200″ padding=”5″ display_type_view=”default” ngg_triggers_display=”always” captions_enabled=”1″ captions_display_sharing=”0″ captions_display_title=”0″ captions_display_description=”1″ captions_animation=”slideleft” slug=”Capulin-Volcano-National-Monument” order_by=”pid” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]

If you are in the area this place is just so interesting to visit. The views are spectacular and it doesn’t take too much energy to enjoy them. You can take as long as you want here or just a short time. Either way, it is well worth the visit. 

For more info check out these websites below:

https://www.nps.gov/cavo/index.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capulin_Volcano_National_Monument

 

 

Capulin Volcano National Monument - New Mexico

Pin It on Pinterest