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BLM>New Mexico>Outdoor Recreation>Las Cruces Recreation>Kilbourne Hole Volcanic Crater
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Kilbourne Hole Volcanic Crater National Natural Landmark

A remnant of an ancient volcanic explosion, Kilbourne Hole was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1975. This crater can be found in a desert basin between the Potrillo Mountains and the Rio Grande in southern Dona Ana County. Kilbourne Hole is roughly elliptical in shape, and is known as a Maar — a pit or depression caused by a volcanic explosion with little material emitted except volcanic gas. The crater is between 24,000 and 100,000 years old, and measures 1.7 miles long by well over a mile across, and is hundreds of feet deep.

Kilbourne Hole has many unique minerals remaining from the eruption. The crusts of the Kilbourne Hole volcanic bombs — objects blown from the volcanic vent in a near plastic state — are dull black or brown, but when broken open they often reveal a brilliant, sparkling yellow and green interior of olivine glass granules.

Hiking, geologic interpretation.

None. Restrooms and drinking water are not available.

Directions to Kilbourne Hole from Las Cruces
Printable Directions

Directions to Hunt’s Hole and the north side of Kilbourne:

Take I-10 to Texas Exit 2
Turn left at Gadsen High School to start on NM-28. Continue on this road for about 4 miles (6.4K)
Turn right at Mercantil Ave./NM-182. Continue for about 1 mile (1.6K)
At the first intersection, turn right at Alvarez St. (the Union Mercantile store is one the corner).  Continue for about half a mile (0.8K).
Stay left at the fork. Continue on Co. Rd. A020 for about 7.8 miles (12.5K)
Turn right on Co Rd A012.  Continue for about 3 miles (5K).
Turn left on Co Rd. A011. Continue for about 8 miles (12.8K).
Turn slightly to the left onto Co Rd. A013. Continue for about 3 miles, or until you can see the hole.
To get to Kilborne Hole:
Make a U-turn and return the way you came on Co. Rd. A013. After about 4.5 miles, you will come to the edge of Kilbourne Hole. You’ll need to park your car just outside a gate and hike in over the edge.

Direcciones al hueco Hunt’s y el lado norte de Kilbourne:

Toma I-10 hasta la salida de Tejas 2
Al ver el colegio Gadsen, dobla a la izquierda
Dobla al derecho en la Avenida Mercantil/NM-182. Sigue por alrededor de 1 milla (1.6K)
En la primera intersección, dobla al derecho en la calle Álvarez (en la esquina está la tienda Unión Mercantile).  Sigue por media milla (0.8K)
Quédate a la izquierda en la bifurcación en el camino
Dobla al derecho en Co. Rd. A012. Sigue por unas 3 millas (5K).
Dobla a la izquierda en Co. Rd. A011. Sigue por unas 8 millas (12.8K)
Dobla un poco a la izquierda en Co. Rd. A013. Sigue por unas 3 millas, o hasta que puedas ver el hueco.
Para llegar a Kilbourne Hole:
Haz una vuelta en U. Después de unas 4.5 millas, llegarás al Hueco Kilbourne. Tendrás que estacionar tu carro justo detrás de un portón y subir por el borde. 

Directions to the south side of Kilbourne Hole:

Take Interstate 10 exit 155 (Vado Drive).
Turn right, or head west to the stop sign at NM Highway 478. Turn left.
After approximately 0.2 miles turn right on NM Highway 189 and travel approximately 1.1 miles.
Turn left on NM Highway 28. Continue south for approximately 2 miles.
Turn right on W. Afton Road and drive approximately 11.2 miles.
Turn left on Douglas Munro Road and drive approximately 6.5 miles.
Turn left at the “T” in the roadway, drive approximately 0.2 miles and cross the railroad tracks.
Turn left on Co Rd A017 and drive approximately 7.2 miles.
Turn right on Co Rd A011. Drive approximately 8.1 miles to the crater.

Direcciones al lado sur del Hueco Kilbourne:

Toma I-10 hasta la salida 155 (Vado Drive).
Dobla al derecho, o maneja al oeste hasta la parada en NM-478. Dobla a la izquierda.
Después de aproximadamente 0.2 millas, dobla al derecho en NM-189 y sigue aproximadamente una milla (1.6K).
Dobla a la izquierda en NM-28. Sigue al sur por aproximadamente 2 millas (3.2K).
Dobla al derecho en la calle W. Afton y sigue aproximadamente 11.2 millas (18K).
Dobla a la izquierda en la calle Douglas Munro y sigue aproximadamente 6.5 millas (10.5K).
Dobla a la izquierda en el “T” en la calle. Sigue adelante aproximadamente 0.2 millas (0.3K) y cruza el ferrocarril.
Dobla a la izquierda en Co. Rd. A017 y sigue aproximadamente 7.2 millas (11.5K).
Dobla al derecho en Co Rd. A011. Maneja aproximadamente 8 millas (12.8K) hasta el cráter.




Kilbourne Hole Volcanic Crater

Hiking/Backpacking Scenic Geology


Open year-round.

Recreation Guidelines
BLM Recreation Guidelines

Special Rules
Do not drive off the roads in this area. Most of the bottom of the hole is private property. It is also very easy to get stuck in soft sand near Kilbourne Hole.

BLM: El Paso
See Contact Information below to obtain maps or visit the Public Lands Information Center.

Contact Information
Las Cruces District Office
1800 Marquess Street
Las Cruces, NM  88005-3370