Capulin Volcano Crater Rim Trail

Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico

Distance0.9mi
Elevation Gain18ft
Trailhead Elevation7,885ft
Top7,885ft
Elevation Min/Max7867/7885ft
Elevation Start/End7885/7885ft

Capulin Volcano Crater Rim Trail

Crater Rim Trail is a hiking trail in Union County, New Mexico. It is within Capulin Volcano National Monument. It is 0.9 miles long and begins at 7,885 feet altitude. Near the trailhead there are restrooms and parking. The Capulin Mountain (elevation 8,156 feet) volcano can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Crater Vent Trail.
Nearby Trails

Capulin Volcano Crater Rim Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The Great Plains may seem an unusual setting for volcanic activity, but the Raton-Clayton volcanic field covers more than two hundred square miles and holds about one hundred volcanic centers from which lava has flowed during the past 8 million years. These volcanoes mark the easternmost limit of recent volcanic activity in the United States.

The trail to the lakes is surprisingly gentle, threading through deep conifer forest up and above the canyon of the East Fork of the Red River. Ample campsites are available along the way, and this beautiful area invites more than a day trip. Both lakes host good populations of trout and are popular destinations for anglers."

"About 60,000 years ago, Capulin Volcano was built up over 1,000 feet above the surrounding plain by fountains of ash and lava. Scores of other surrounding peaks and hills were built during the same and other periods of volcanism. Because Capulin’s three lava flows erupted from vents at the base of the mountain, the peak retained a very symmetrical cinder cone shape. In the center of the cone lies the original crater.

The loop trail begins and ends at the parking lot. The climb is less steep if you start on the south side. The trail follows the circular rim of the crater. Vegetation has gained a good foothold on the steep, cinder-covered mountain.

Dogs are not allowed."

Capulin Volcano Crater Rim Trail Reviews

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10/9/2009
This was a beautiful scenic and moderate hike. We started from the Middle Fork Trailhead and then branched off to the left following trail 91 to Lost Lake. The first hour passes through lush pine forest then opens up into more alpine type terrain. Saw a porcupine and birds ate out of our hands. Lost Lake has trees on one side and a few camping spots. We decided to setup camp further up just blow Horseshoe Lake within the tree line for better wind protection and availability of firewood. You can filter water from the lakes or the tiny rivers crossing the trail. The hike from Horseshoe Lake to Wheeler Peak (about 2 hours) is spectacular but be prepared for +20 temperatures at this time of the year and extreme wind conditions up there.
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9/20/2009
This one mile hike offers spectacular views of the surrounding mesas. In addition, there is a wonderful 2-mile hike at the base of the volcano called the Boca Trail (somewhat strenuous and not well marked -- bring map from he visitor's center) that is both interesting and lovely. Lots of volcanic artifacts! In total, the 3 miles of hiking makes for a very worthwhile trip.
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7/29/2008
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9/2/2007
My husband, another couple, and I took this trail from Red River. We stopped and camped at Lost Lake and the next day hiked up to Horseshoe Lake and then to Wheeler. Lost Lake is one of the prettiest places I've been to. A wonderful tarn as a background and a fantastic mountain scenery view as the foreground. We would go back in a heartbeat. We tried to go the next year at teh same time but the weather was too bad to get up to Wheeler. Maybe next year!
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9/29/2006
Trails.com has been informed that to reach the parking area for the trailhead for Horsehoe Lake, you should turn left across the bridge on FR58A from the trailhead listed in the trail guide and travel about 1.25 miles farther along. Also, the parking lot this guide references is posted "No Parking, Tow away zone". The nearest parking is about a mile away on a road requiring a high clearance vehicle/4 wheel drive. Neither of these items is mentioned in the guide.
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7/6/2003
My wife and I made a 2 night trip of Horseshoe and Lost Lake and climbed Wheeler from Horseshoe. It was a grand experience. The weather was excellent. Very few people on trail and only one couple camping at Lost Lake. Plenty of water along trail so we could of not carried as much as we did but how were we to know? We did an out and back along the East Fork as a loop would not of tken us back to our car unless we walked on a road for a couple of miles. We would reccommend this trip.
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Capulin Volcano Crater Rim Trail Photos

Trail Information

Capulin Volcano National Monument
Nearby City
Capulin Volcano National Monument
Parks
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Easy
Skill Level
Views
Features
Capulin Volcano National Monument, PO Box 40, Des Moines, NM 88418; (575) 278-2201; www.nps.gov/cavo/index.htm
Local Contacts
Park brochure; Folsom 7.5-minute USGS quad
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018