New Mexico: Capulin Volcano National Monument


The truth is there is not much around Johnson, Kansas, thus while visiting for nearly a week we planned some day trip adventures. One was to Capulin Volcano. Capulin is a recently extinct example of a cone volcano. By recently I mean in the past 60,000 years. It is part of the Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field.Capulin Volcano National Monument 

The the drive to Capulin was near four hours and if you intend to make the trip, bring a picnic because there is nothing out there. The land and the drive are incredibly beautiful but there is not much civilization around but a few fading towns. 

Besides being a volcano that you can go down into the cone, Capulin has some other really neat aspects. The elevation is 7,877 feet when you are in the parking lot and you gain about 100 feet in elevation as you hike around the rim. My favorite thing about Capulin is that it sits on the edge of two different ecosystems. The grasslands of the Great Plains merge here with the edge of the forest of the Rocky Mountains. The biodiversity of the region is fantastic.

While in the cone we saw a mule deer doe bedded down just on the edge of sight. I got my binoculars out to see her just laying there chilling and watching us crazy humans hike down. Towards the end of our hike around the volcano rim we came across a lizard that was so well camouflaged that had we not looked down at the right moment we would have missed him.Lizard, New Mexico Wildlife 

It was windy but not particularly cold while we were there. I know that Capulin is not particularly high in regards to altitude but it is still possible to get altitude sickness so make sure to drink plenty of water and if you start to feel bad, get to a lower altitude.

I hope you enjoyed this exploration of Capulin Volcano. If you don’t have a chance to get there yourself, check out my video below:

Have a great Wednesday. Safe travels!

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