Leave No Trace
Chances are if you are an outdoor enthusiast you've heard the phrase "Leave No Trace" before. But what does it mean? Where does it come from? And how can it be applied to daily life? Leave No Trace (LNT) is not only a motto but also a national program that promotes conservation in nature. LNT is based on seven principles to help teach people of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. These can be applied throughout your adventures, but are especially relevant at Capulin Volcano and all of our National Parks.
Plan Ahead and Prepare
The first step is to prepare for your journey. The volcano is located at a higher elevation than many visitors are used to. The best way to help acclimate to the elevation change is to stay hydrated. Make sure to bring plenty of water with you. Refill your water bottles at the Visitor Center before you hike the trails. Don't forget your sunscreen and check the weather for your trip. June to September is monsoon season in the Southwest, so there are frequent thunderstorms. Make sure to bring your rain jacket if you're visiting during this time, and always listen to the ranger's instructions in inclement weather.
Dispose of Waste Properly
Pack it in, pack it out! Make sure your group disposes of all trash properly from the rim, trails and picnic areas. Receptacles for garbage and recycling are conveniently located throughout the park. Even if your trash is biodegradable (like an apple core) it needs to be thrown away properly. Human food can attract all types of bugs and animals, generate odor, and are eye sores for other visitors.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
When you are at the volcano please stay on established trails. All trails at the crater rim are paved. Capulin is made up of small rocks called cinders. These cinders are very loose, similar to a pile of gravel. Veering from the trail can be detrimental to vegetation, increase erosion and can be dangerous. Staying on the trails helps us preserve our natural and cultural resources for the next generation of visitors to appreciate. There is no overnight camping at the monument. Camping facilities can be found in the towns of Raton, Clayton and Capulin.
Leave What You Find
Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch artifacts. If you find a cultural artifact don't move it! Mark where you found it and tell a ranger. Our rangers would love to study it, but need to know where it was found. Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them. The volcanic rocks and wildflowers are neat and everyone would like to see them. Please leave the rocks and flowers in the park for the next visitors to come to enjoy. "Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints."
Minimize Campfire Impacts
Capulin Volcano does not allow camping or charcoal grills. If you plan to cook a lunch while visiting the monument, you must use a gas powered camp stove. This will significantly reduce the likelihood of wildfires.
Observe wildlife from a safe distance. Do not follow or approach them. If an animal changes its behavior because of your presence, you are too close. Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
People like to visit the park for different reasons. Please respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Always be courteous.
Want to Learn More?
Learn more about the Leave No Trace program at https://lnt.org.
Last updated: March 13, 2017