Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Capulin Volcano NM

Ever wondered what it would be like to go down inside a volcano but figured it wasn't possible for mere mortals?  Well, actually, there is!  Capulin Volcano National Monument in northeast New Mexico is an extinct cinder cone volcano that has not been active for thousands of years (likely the time of the Flood).

Unlike many, this volcano is also very accessible. A road travels all the way to the top, and then there are paved trails both going around the rim as well as down into the caldera all the way down to the vent.

View from the Rim Looking Down into the Caldera

View from the Vent Looking Up Toward the Rim
The view down onto the plain from the top is stunning.  Many of the peaks in the area are a result of the same hotspot that created Capulin Volcano.

On the day we visited, there was also a herd of mule deer inside the caldera.  They continually bounded back and forth across the caldera, trying to stay out of our way.  After getting a close-up view of a couple of them, though, I'm not sure why they were afraid of us.  Each of them are about twice our size!

Although in a remote location (about an hour off of I-25 just south of the NM-CO border), this is a very worthwhile trip for the experience of walking down into the caldera of a volcano.  It's also a quick trip. We felt quite fulfilled after only about an hour, although I could have watched the deer all day!

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