Monday, August 1, 2016

Mount Capulin National Monument

 Whenever Turtle and I go driving far away, we like to break up the hours spent in the car with a brief hiking jaunt. Recently, on our way to attend a convention in Denver, and even during our off time there, we discovered and re-visited some our favorite places to hike.
 Mount Capulin, located conveniently on a long dreary stretch of North-Eastern New Mexico about thirty miles east of Raton provides a perfect break. It is only three miles off the main road, and takes just a few minutes to visit. There's a narrow road that circles up the volcano and a parking lot near the rim.
 From there, we climbed up a path that was about the width of a sidewalk, paved and well studded with gravel bits to prevent slipping. It was a moderate hike, due to lots of climbing sections, but, had we been acclimated to the altitude, we would have called it "easy".
 Whatever, the views were worth every bit of the laborious plodding up the slopes. From the rim you can see the interesting shapes of ancient lava flows, and parts of four states: New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

 The wind blows strongly across the top and it doesn't take long to figure out what direction it usually takes.


There are plenty of benches too. Just perfect for those of us who are not used to 8000 ft. altitude and 95 degree heat at the same time.
This picture is the only one I didn't take. It's an areal view and I don't fly. The road curls around the mountain. That spot at the end is the parking lot. From there you can hike down into the volcano or take the trail around the rim.

It's magnificent.

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