Lava Flow

Round Trip Distance: 0.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 7180 - 7273 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Visitor Center
Fee: $20/vehicle
Attractions: volcano lava flow

Capulin Volcano National Monument near Capulin, New Mexico, currently has 5 developed trails of which this post is for the Lava Flow trail. Starting near the Visitor Center the trail travels a loop that leads across an area where lava had flowed down from the crater of the Capulin Volcano approximately 60,000 years ago.

Capulin, New Mexico is on US-64 about 25 miles east of Raton and Interstate 25.

The Monument entrance is about 2.8 miles north of the town of Capulin.

From the entrance follow the signs to the Visitor Center where you can pay the requisite entrance fee or show your parks pass.

The Lava Flow trailhead is on the south side of the Visitor Center parking lot.

The trail starts out following an old road. Within 400 feet a loop begins where a single track trail connects on the left.

For this post we stayed to the right on the old road.

A lot of the lava flow is overgrown with vegetation but there are a few places where the rocks poke through.

On the south side of the loop there is a short stub trail that leads to an overlook where you can see across the grassland to a mountain named Sierra Grande. Sierra Grande is a shield type volcano and it is the largest volcano in the Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field.

The return route along the single track portion of the trail is more primitive in nature and mostly uphill.

Within less than a mile you arrive right back where you began at the Visitor Center. Trailers aren't allowed on the Volcano Road so if you happen to be pulling anything like we were you can unhook from it and leave it here at the Visitor Center. The monument is only open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm so time your visit accordingly. There's nothing too awfully exiting about the Lava Flow trail but it's worth the hike if you have the time. The photos for this post were taken early enough in the springtime that it hadn't had a chance to green up much. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.