Stand inside this New Mexico volcano!

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Located in the North East corner of the state, Capelin Volcano is an amazing day trip, or a star gazers nighttime dream. One of 117 US National Monuments, so as to preserve the site for as long as humanly possible.

Deemed a cinder cone volcano - which basically means the same simple mountain shape ejecting lava how we’ve been drawing since our childhoods. They believe the volcano first erupted 62,000 years ago, and had its final eruption approximately 55,000 years ago. A part of the Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field; One can see the other volcanoes from the top of Capelin. Considered to be the youngest volcano of the group, Capelin is believed to have been formed from one eruption event and is therefore considered an extinct volcano - meaning it shouldn’t erupt again! 

Take an easy stroll down into the center of the volcano (great for all ages, wheelchairs with outdoor wheels), and pass the 55-62,000 year old volcanic rocks along your way.  There are signs at the bottom explaining the amazing preservation of the site, and local foliage, as well as wildlife.  Notice the wind soften as you degrade into this natural hole in the Earth; You may hear a couple of birds, but other than that enjoy the pure silence of the site. Also an amazing place to see the stars at night seeing as the nearest city is Raton, 32 miles away.

Standing at the top of the volcano you are at a cool 7,877ft above sea level.  Go a little higher up to the rim of the volcano, following the path behind the bathrooms, and look down 8,182ft across four different states!  Take a hike around the whole rim of the volcano to get a birds-eye view of the surrounding volcanic sites. 

This monument is open year round, and experiences a little snow; There are restrooms and safety shelters. You can do the whole attraction in less than an hour and feel as though you’ve seen everything, or stretch out your time by packing lunch!  

Pictures and written by our guest reporter:

Katelyn Cox - @fellintoamountain
~ Illusive Forest Fairy, Always on a Trip ~
Feel free to reach out with any questions or travel ideas!

This article was last updated on December 07, 2020.