Capulin Volcano National Monument

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Quick Facts

Capulin Volcano National Monument

New Mexico

(575) 278-2201

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

Mammoths, giant bison, and short-faced bears were witness to the first tremblings of the earth and firework-like explosions of molten rock. Approximately 60,000 years ago, the rain of cooling cinders and four lava flows formed Capulin Volcano, a nearly perfectly-shaped cinder cone, rising 1,000 feet above the surrounding landscape. Imagine hiking into the crater of the volcano, or following the volcano's rim trail that offers 360 degree views. Capulin Volcano National Monument has nearly five miles of hiking trails, some of which are fully accessible. View the Rocky Mountains from the volcano top, or explore Capulin's very own lava flow at its base. For the younger visitors, Junior Ranger and Lady Bug Hunt books are available by request. Stop by the visitor center to check out the park film and pick up a brochure before heading up to the volcano rim.

Map of Capulin Volcano

Latitude, Longitude: 36.781792, -103.972035

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Activities

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The Volcano Road leading to the crater rim is approximately two miles. Trailers and towed vehicles are prohibited. Because the road has no shoulders, bicycles and pedestrians are only permitted when the road is closed to vehicles after park hours at 4 p.m. Snow, ice, and/or severe thunderstorms can also close the Volcano Road.

  • Hiking

    Several short hikes from fully-accessible paved trail, to strenuous loops are available. All trails except the Nature Trail are hiking only. Keep in mind that vehicles, including strollers, are not allowed. A child carrier backpack is available for loan at the visitor center.

    Pets are prohibited on all park trails.

  • Picnicking

    A picnic area offers fully-accessible picnic tables and restrooms.

Seasonality/Weather

Summers are mild with highs in the mid-80s. Thunderstorms are common in July and August. Light jackets may be needed during the summer. Winters are cold, and blizzards may result in temporary park closures. Warm and layered clothing should be worn the rest of the year.

Park Partners

Western National Parks Association

The Capulin Volcano visitor center hosts a bookstore to provide materials related to the monument and surrounding area. Books about volcanoes, geology, local and regional history, and wildlife are available in addition to postcards, bookmarks and posters.

The store is operated by the Western National Parks Association, a nonprofit cooperating association of the National Park Service. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, the association was founded in 1938 as the Southwest Monuments Association to support the interpretive activities of the National Park Service. Today, profits still support interpretation in the parks, including Capulin Volcano National Monument.

(520) 622-1999

Directions

Driving

The monument is located 33 miles east of Raton, New Mexico, via US Highway 64/87, and 58 miles west of Clayton, New Mexico, via the same highway. The park entrance is off New Mexico Highway 325, three miles north of the town of Capulin. Interstate 25 connects Raton with Denver, Colorado, from the north, and Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, from the south.

Flying

Major airlines operate in Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Amarillo. Albuquerque and Denver are approximately 270 miles from the monument. Colorado Springs and Amarillo are about 190 miles.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(575) 278-2201

Road conditions

5752782201 x302

Links