• 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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  • 2014 Compendium now available

    The 2014 park compendium is now available via the link below. This includes new prohibitions on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) within national park units. More »

  • 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 »

Animals

Jumping-Elk
Elk jump a boundary fence along the southern boundary of El Malpais National Monument.
NPS photo Dale Dombrowski

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.

Chipmunk

NPS photo Dale Dombrowski

Mammals

If you are observant, you never know what you might find at El Malpais. More->

 
Checkered Fulva

NPS photo Phillip Brown

Butterflies

Meadows dance with color when Lepidoptera flutter by. More ->

A roadrunner

NPS photo Dale Dombrowski

Birds

Birding at El Malpais is a year-round treat, with distinct changes in bird life found during all four seasons. More->

 
Rattlesnake

NPS photo Amanda Murphy

Reptiles & Amphibians

Many lizards and snakes, one frog , and one or two species of toads call El Malpais home. More ->

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...