Capulin Volcano - nr Capulin NM
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 36° 46.942 W 103° 58.216
13S E 591883 N 4071224
Quick Description: Capulin Volcano is one of many extinct volcanoes in this part of northern New Mexico.
Location: New Mexico, United States
Date Posted: 10/14/2014 10:31:32 AM
Waymark Code: WMMNEH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member DougK
Views: 3

Long Description:
The waymark coordinates are for the bottom of the Vent Trail, in the deepest point inside Capulin Volcano.

The Capulin Volcano is one of the earliest National Monuments designated by the National Park Service. It was designated in 1916, and has been wowing visitors ever since.

From the National Park Service website: (visit link)

"A Stellar Example of Recent Volcanic Activity

Come view a dramatic landscape—a unique place of mountains, plains, and sky. Born of fire and forces continually reshaping the earth’s surface, Capulin Volcano provides access to nature’s most awe-inspiring work.

History & Culture

While the geologic history of Capulin Volcano began well over a million years ago, its involvement in human history has been much more recent. Capulin has traditionally been a crossroads of human activity as diverse people and cultures traversed to and from the Great Plains.

Archaeological evidence found at the Folsom Man site, eight miles from Capulin Volcano, confirms that Paleoindians roamed this area in search of Pleistocene Bison as early as ten thousand years ago. Likewise, groups of Native Americans, such as the Jicarilla Apache and the Ute, used this region as hunting grounds until the arrival of the Spanish in 1541. Early explorers Don Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and Juan de Padilla passed through Capulin area in search of riches and regions to conquer paving the way for a greater influx of Europeans and a transformation of the cultural landscape over the next 350 years.

Spain controlled New Mexico until August 1821 when Mexico declared independence. Spanish colonial trade had been limited, however, under the new regime barriers for New Mexico were gone and its doors were opened to traders from the burgeoning United States. In September 1821, William Becknell of Missouri blazed the Santa Fe Trail which would be followed by countless others in search of profit.

Traders traveled several routes attempting to reach Santa Fe over the next twenty-five years while tensions built between the U.S. and Mexico and finally erupted in 1846 as the Mexican-American War. These trails proved invaluable by carrying soldiers and supplies to Santa Fe and beyond. The war ended in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which officially made New Mexico a territory of the United States. Military forts such as Fort Union, Fort Larned and others were established along the trail to control Indian conflicts and protect travelers as a result. However in an effort to supply Fort Union as railroads began expanding westward, the original Santa Fe Trail routes were swiftly abandoned for the Granada-Fort Union Military Freight Route which passed directly south and east of Capulin Volcano's base. As the Santa Fe Trail neared its decline, a new industry was rising. Ranching and sheep herding had previously been commonplace throughout the plains but overnight cattle became the more profitable industry.

Struggling to feed soldiers and captives a Fort Sumner, the War Department issued advertisements offering to pay high prices for cattle. Two Texas cattle dealers, despite the risks, forged a trail from Texas to New Mexico which became known as the Goodnight-Loving Trail. Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving drove cattle north through sparsely populated, lawless regions with very little water to Fort Sumner. The cattle not sold to the military continued north, directly past Capulin Volcano, to Colorado for sale at the market. The cattle industry grossed a million dollars over the next five years and created a profitable economy for Great Plains which remains to this day.

By 1891, the Spanish and Mexican empires had fallen. Native Americans were confined to reservations. The West was nearly won. And, a new chapter had begun as Congress withdrew Capulin Volcano from settlement

Natural Features & Ecosystems

Capulin Volcano National Monument preserves approximately 800 acres (324hectares) primarily the cinder cone volcano. More than 15 square miles (~39 km2) of associated lava flows are outside the monument boundaries. The volcano has been well-preserved with the greatest erosion being limited to where the cone is cut by a 2-mile road that spirals its way to the crater rim. The volcano rises to a height of 8182 feet (2495 m) above sea level, or 1300 feet (396 m) above the surrounding High Plains and at its base is 4 miles (6.4 km) in circumference. The crater is 415 feet (126 m) deep and 1450 feet (442 m) in diameter. The slopes of the volcano have been partially stabilized by the formation of soils, produced by the breakdown of the volcanic material by lichens and mosses. Once these soils formed, grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees took root. Chokecherry trees, which are common along the crater trails, inspired the name for this cinder cone volcano; Capulín is a Mexican-Spanish word for Chokecherry.

The monument lies in the Raton section of the Great Plains (or Interior Plains) physiographic province—an immense sweep of country that stretches north from Mexico to Canada, and east from the Rocky Mountains. This section of the Great Plains is characterized by volcanism. Capulin Volcano is just one out of many volcanoes in northeastern New Mexico. This collection of volcanoes, called the Raton-Clayton volcanic field (RCVF), is the easternmost Cenozoic—66.4 million years ago (Ma) to present—volcanic field in the United States. The RCVF covers nearly 8000 square miles, from Trinidad, Colorado to Clayton, New Mexico, and has been active during the last 9 million years. The eruption of Capulin volcano, ~ 60,000 years ago, is one of the most recent eruptions in the field. The field is presently dormant with no activity in the last 30,000 or 40,000 years. Individual volcanic centers within the field, such as Capulin Volcano, are considered extinct."
Volcano Type: Cinder Cone

Volcano Location: Continental (Rift)

Year of most recent activity: 40000

Caldera Visible?: yes

Cone Visible?: yes

Crater Visible?: yes

Geyser/Hot Spring Visible?: no

Lava Dome Visible?: yes

Lava Flow (Moving) Visible?: no

Lava Flow (Not Moving) Visible?: yes

Vent or Fumarole Visible?: yes

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Benchmark Blasterz visited Capulin Volcano - nr Capulin NM 10/20/2014 Benchmark Blasterz visited it
TerraViators visited Capulin Volcano - nr Capulin NM 3/20/2011 TerraViators visited it

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