• Sweeping panoramic views of lava flows, cinder cones, and distant mountains can be enjoyed at Sandstone Bluffs.

    El Malpais

    National Monument New Mexico

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  • Cave permits now available for selected park caves

    FREE mandatory cave permits are now available to visit specific caves in El Malpais. Permits can be obtained at the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center at I-40/Exit 85 or at the El Malpais Information Center on NM Highway 53. More »

  • Crews manage wildfire near Lost Woman Crater

    A small wildfire near Lost Woman Crater is being managed by crews from the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Managment. Recent heavy rains will minimize fire growth, but travelers may experience smoke on NM 53 near the continental divide.

Curriculum Materials

A naturalists guides students in observing a prairie dog colony at El Malpais.

A naturalist guides students in using binoculars to observe a prairie dog colony at El Malpais.


Malpais Mysteries!

This curriculum guide is aimed at the 4th grade level, but can be adapted as needed for most elementary level instruction. Click on the title below to download the document.

Malpais Mysteries (22.4 Mb pdf)


Activity Sheets

These documents can be printed on clear material and used as transparencies, or color printed on paper to explain the forces of volcanism.

The Fire Triangle (41 Kb pdf)

Lava Tube Formation (55 Kb pdf)

Life in the dark (29 Kb pdf)

Volcano Formation (45 Kb pdf)

Aa Lava (104 Kb pdf)

Pahoehoe Lava (77 Kb pdf)

Pyroclastic Flows (56 Kb pdf)

Did You Know?

A Western Diamondback rattlesnake in the desert

The Western Diamondback rattlesnake is one of several species of rattlesnake that inhabit the high desert of El Malpais. Like all wildlife in the park, they are protected and should be given space and respect. More...