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

    El Malpais

    National Monument New Mexico

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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 »

Cinder Phacelia

A cinder slope covered with Cinder Phacelia.
NPS photo Dale Dombrowski

NPS photo Dale Dombrowski

Cinder phacelia (Phacelia serrata) grows on exposed cinder slopes and is dependent on having volcanic cinders as a substrate. The plant is usually between 4-14 inches tall and grows at elevations from 5,200 to 8,000 feet. The upper leaves are attached directly to the base without a stalk, and in August through September it has a blue/violet flower. This plant is only found in two locations in the United States; El Malpais National Monument and Sunset Crater National Monument in Arizona.

Did You Know?

Cerro Rendija is a shield volcano

Cerro Rendija volcano, just west of Big Tubes in El Malpais National Monument, is a good example of a shield volcano. Low viscosity lava spread out rapidly from the vent and kept the volcano from gaining much vertical height. More...