New Mexico Brevet Series

ROUTES - 300k Raton

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Capulin Volcanic Classic
September 22, 2012 Start Time: 8:30 AM

Capulin Volcano at Sunrise

The Capulin Volcanic classic is focused around climbing the symmetrical, cinder cone Capulin Volcano which rises 1300' above the surrounding plains to 8182'. It is yet another National Monument in the NM Brevet Series. We are starting this event at a very civil 8:30 AM so that we hit the CVNM after it has closed at 4:00 PM (16:00). If you get there before closing time, have the rangers note your arrival time and you will be credited with the time you waited until it did open. When you ride it you will understand why they don't let us ride during hours when automobiles are on the road. It is much more pleasant without the traffic and noise and with the fabulous views all around you might wander a little too. The road climbs 610' in 2 miles, an average of 5.8%. From the top you can see Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, and NM. The volcano is about 60,000 years old and it is extinct so you don't have to worry "where you're gonna go when the volcano blow"!, but another one could in this still active volcanic area. In the event that you get to the the Visitor's Center before it closes, please have your card signed by the ranger and we will deduct the amount of time you have to wait. 

The ride begins in Raton as it has numerous hotels and restaurants to choose from, however, there are few restaurants other than fast food or Denny's that are open late. There is one good Mexican/American restaurant, the Sands, that serves until 10:00 PM and it is  close to the finish. I believe it's just south of US 64 on 2nd St. From Raton we head into the Sugarite State Park. Fees will be pre-paid so you may just ride on to Lake Maloya and the Colorado border where we turn around and head back to NM 72. After climbing 1500' to the top of the severely stark Johnson Mesa you pass a stone church built by local ranchers 100 years ago. It is very unusual given the setting. Riders then get paybacks on the decent to Folsom which has some interesting old buildings as well. It's not a ghost town, but it is quiet and quaint. We will have a checkpoint there as it is central to the next 80 miles and we will have water and food available (there is also a yard hydrant in the garden at the Folsom Museum). From this point riders head out into the Dry Cimarron valley to the end of the pavement where we turn around and head back to the turn off for NM 551 to Branson, CO. There is water available at another yard hydrant at the old stone building just before the prominent white church. Again, we U-turn back to Folsom and head south to the volcano on NM 325. After climbing and descending the cinder cone (Be Aware! The Gate Is Closed!) we go back through Folsom to then head southwest to Des Moines and beyond to the Sierra Grande Rest Area on US 64 about 7 1/2 miles out. From there we turn around one last time to ride straight back on US 64. This is a fairly fast return if the weather holds. We are at the equinox, so lights will be required for the return as the sunset will be around 7:00. You may have a drop bag at Folsom as that is the support focus once we leave Raton. This is the very eastern edge of the Great Plains and thunderstorms can occur quickly and rather violently, so keep your eyes open to developments and again a drop bag in Folsom would be helpful to adjust to changing conditions.  


The Cinder Cone with the Road Wrapping Around

Interestingly we accidentally chose the day before the Capulin Volcano Run, so if you like to do both or if you are with someone who might want to click on the link below:


After Dropping Off Johnson Mesa the Volcano Looms Ahead
The Raton - Clayton Volcanic Valley

Registration Form - '12

Accident Waiver Form

Route Sheet - '12

Route Map

Google Map of the Route

Check the Weather


Holiday Inn Express

Motel 6

Sugarite State Park

Super 8

Quality Inn


Capulin Volcano Run

Folsom Man Site

Folsom Village

Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge

Raton, NM

Sugarite Canyon State Park

Vermejo Park Ranch

Lake Maloya at the Colorado Border Turnaround
Sunrise On First Street
Johnson Mesa Stone Church

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