Capulin Volcano National Monument


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.


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.



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.


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.