Junction Cave CLOSED for the winter
Junction Cave is now closed to protect hibernating bats that overwinter within. Please help protect our winged relatives by respecting this closure. The cave will reopen for visitation on March 16th, 2014. Other permit-accessible caves remain open.
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 El Malpais Information Center on NM Highway 53 or at the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center at I-40/Exit 85. More »
Despite the harsh, rugged lava landscape of El Malpais National Monument, wildlife abound. You can find everything from large mammals such as black bear, cougar, and elk, to tiny crustaceans like fairy shrimp. Look to the sky and you can find majestic golden eagles or the smallest of hummingbirds. A further variety of reptiles, amphibians, insects, and arthropods are all found through the monument. You can learn more by following the links on this page, or better yet, come out to El Malpais and experience the resource firsthand; El Malpais is a true treasure trove for the naturalist.
If you are observant, you never know what you might find at El Malpais. More->
Meadows dance with color when Lepidoptera flutter by. More ->
Birding at El Malpais is a year-round treat, with distinct changes in bird life found during all four seasons. More->
Reptiles & Amphibians
Many lizards and snakes, one frog , and one or two species of toads call El Malpais home. More ->
Did You Know?
Gopher snakes can mimic rattlesnake behavior, thrashing their tails in dry grass or leaves. These elegant reptiles are nonvenomous and help control rodent populations in high desert regions like El Malpais. More...