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 »
Nature & Science
Time To Explore!
Free, mandatory caving permits are available for visitors who wish to explore several amazing lava tube caves within the monument. The first step is talking to a ranger.
A variety of plants, including cacti, wildflowers, and native shortgrass prairies or pine woodlands live in the Malpais. More ->
Many environmental factors help shape the El Malpais landscape. More ->
Many exciting opportunities await you as a volunteer in Natural Resources. More ->
El Malpais provides many different habitats for wildlife, including reptiles like this horned lizard. More ->
Natural Features & Ecosystems
Volcanic geology and unique landscapes set El Malpais apart.
Did You Know?
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...