A dormant volcano? Wow! I, Zeb the duck, was in a dormant volcano in New Mexico. Mom and I visited Capulin Volcano National Monument in northeastern New Mexico.
President Wilson declared Capulin Volcano a National Monument in 1916.
Capulin Volcano erupted 60,000 years ago. Mammoths roamed these plains in those days. The eruption of this volcano defines the landscape of northeastern New Mexico. The flat-topped mesas are ancient lava flows. The mountains are cinder cones, shield volcanoes, tuff rings and volcanic domes.
I learned so much reading the signs at the monument.
Mom and I drove to the top of the volcano and hiked part of the Crater Rim Trail. The trail is about one mile long and the views of the volcano are great. We hiked into the volcano also.
Homer Farr was custodian of the volcano for 32 years. This sign explains many things he did for the national monument. Sounds like a lot of work; he must have been very dedicated.
Of course, the main attraction here is the dormant volcano, but there are many wild animals here also. Black bear and cougars hunt within the parks boundaries. Many mule deer live here and some antelope and elk pass through the park. Desert plants such as cacti grow here since the annual rainfall is about 15 inches.
The solidago capulinensis is a species of Goldenrod that cannot be found growing wild anywhere but the slopes of Capulin Volcano.
Capulin Volcano is the meeting place for the prairies of the Great Plains and the forests of the Rocky Mountains making it home to the state grass of New Mexico, Blue Grama grass and the state tree, the pinon pine.
Some safety walls are built from lava rock and cement.
At the Visitors Center I sat on this huge piece of lava rock.
Capulin Volcano National Monument is about 30 miles east of Raton, New Mexico or 58 miles west of Clayton, New Mexico on US 64 and 87. I liked the volcano and I think you would too. The geology is interesting and the hiking and views are wonderful. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/cavo