New Mexico, Where We've Been

Capulin Volcano

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Capulin Volcano

The Rocky Mountain formation begins in New Mexico, continues north into Colorado and up into Canada where it merges with the Alaska Range. However, many years ago, this land was not as mountainous as we see it today. If you remember from my post about the Strataca Salt Mine in Kansas, you’ll see that a large ocean once ran through what is now the central U.S.

At some point in the past, the geologic timetable shows us that the Rocky Mountains were subjected to a tumultuous uplift as evidenced by the numerous volcanos and calderas found throughout the mountainous range, including the La Garita Caldera found in Colorado’s San Juan mountains and the well-known landscape of Yellowstone National Park. This is also the reason for the numerous hot springs found in the vicinity. The dynamic formation of the Front Range’s Garden of the Gods is a powerful testament to the uplift event, whose once horizontal rocks now stand at around 70 degrees from the surrounding landscape. This uplift event forced the oceanic land to rise and drain the waters off the land. 

Today, in New Mexico, volcanos such as the one at Capulin, stand as a witness to area’s explosive past. Though Capulin Volcano is not nearly as old, it gashed its mark into the landscape in a later formed Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field, covering over 8,000 square miles. One of the youngest of a hundred volcanos to mark this region, Capulin stands at an elevation of over 8,000 feet.

Inside the crater of the extinct volcano extends 415 feet down from the rim. You can walk down into it or up to the rim for a hike around its circumference. Be on the lookout for rocks as the rim has a lot of old, cooled lava rocks surrounding it. 

From the top of the rim, you can see the beginnings of the snow-capped Colorado Rockies and where our journey leads us next. 




Capulin Camp & RV Park

Capulin Camp & RV Park is located just a few miles from Capulin Volcano. We arrived an hour before check-in time and no one was in the office and we did not have a site number so we decided to wait. Near check-in time, a truck pulled up and a man got out and told us to follow him as he directed us to a site.

We pulled into an empty site that didn’t seem long enough (due to a gravel road that was supposed to be behind our site. He said it didn’t matter so we pulled back to give ourselves some room. As we were setting up, the owner came out and chased us down telling us we had to check-in first before finding a site. We explained that we were directed by a man into this site. Apparently he was the maintenance man. He never introduced himself and now we were in hot water with the owner. 

We checked in with her and she huffed away muttering under her breath that we should have checked in first. 

We had full hookups in the site we were provided, but even through our water filter, the water tasted horrible.

Another guest who pulled in after us, couldn’t find a full hookup site. Either one didn’t have sewer or one didn’t have water or one the electric didn’t work. The on-site restrooms were locked and signs were everywhere about cameras being on the premises recording.

For the price, it was not worth the stay and we were happy to leave after visiting the volcano.

We did not stay long enough to record any cell data or Starlink.