Under the management of the National Park Service, Volcano Park comprises the remnants of five cinder cone volcanoes bordering the West Mesa Open Space just outside Albuquerque. These geological formations came into existence more than 100,000 years ago. They were the final event in an epoch of fissure eruptions that covered the surrounding landscape with basalt and created a seventeen-mile-long escarpment.
In the thousands of years that followed, innumerable basalt boulders fell down to the escarpment's edge. These provided a canvass, as it were, for Puebloans and Spanish settlers to carve petroglyphs as a history of their peoples. Most of the finest examples of this artwork are located at the neighboring Petroglyph National Monument, established in 1990, although many examples remain as part of Volcano Park.
The park has an easily traveled hiking trail with numerous shade-covered resting benches and a public restroom. It is open from 9am to 5pm daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. To get to Volcano Park, take Interstate 40 to Paseo del Vulcan, Exit #149, and head north for about five miles to the entrance. Parking and admission are free of charge. Visitors are advised to bring along drinking water.