Boca Loop

Round Trip Distance: 1.6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 7225 - 7458 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Boca Loop/Picnic Area
Fee: $20/vehicle
Attractions: Dormant volcano

The Boca Loop is located in the Capulin Volcano National Monument where beginning at the Picnic Area it crosses the Volcano Road and begins a loop that runs below Capulin Mountain and along the monuments boundary as it loops back toward the trailhead. In route the trail passes several collapsed lava tubes where the volcano's lava flows originated.

After entering 'Capulin Volcano National Monument' into your driving app and finding your way to the Visitor Center, continue by following the signs to the picnic area. The trailhead can then be found at the north end of the parking area.

As the trail starts out it passes between a couple of the picnic sites that are nestled amongst the trees.

Most of the trail is nice and smooth but there are a couple of places where it crosses the lava flows that get pretty rocky. The roughest of these is right near the trailhead.

The trail remains secluded as it works its way up to the Volcano Road.

After crossing the Volcano Road the loop begins with the single track branching off on the right.

From there the trail climbs gently up the shoulder of the mountain beneath the Capulin Volcano.

It is along this side of the loop where the trail reaches its highest elevation and begins a gradual descent.

As the trail descends it passes the first of the collapsed lava tubes.

Once the trail reaches its northern most point it turns back toward the trailhead staying close to the boundary fence for much of the way.

You have to wonder whether any of these rocks were carried more than 10 feet to make this fireplace or kiln.

With all the grass and oakbrush it's easy to imagine that the Boca Loop would be very pretty once everything greens up in late spring. It is interesting to hike around the base of the volcano to see where lava flowed from its vents and to contemplate how the eruption took place some 60,000 years ago. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.