• 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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  • Junction Cave NOW OPEN!

    Junction Cave is again OPEN for visitation. Get your free caving permit at either the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center at i-40/Exit 85 in Grants, or at the Information Center on NM53.

  • 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 »

Mammals

A resting coyote

A coyote rests in the winter sun.

Dale Dombrowski, NPS

Squirrels, mule deer, and elk are the most commonly encountered mammals in the monument. However, there are many other species often found during the course of a visit. They have all adapted to living in this unique environment, and many take advantage of the shelter provided by the numerous lava tube caves.

Bats, flying mammals common at night and in the caves, are discussed on their own page.

Did You Know?

A gopher snake at El Malpais

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...