• 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 »
  • 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 »

  • Crews manage wildfire near Lost Woman Crater

    A small wildfire near Lost Woman Crater is being managed by crews from the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Managment. Recent heavy rains will minimize fire growth, but travelers may experience smoke on NM 53 near the continental divide.



Major airlines serve Albuquerque, New Mexico, 72 miles east of the monument. Rental vehicles are available in Albuquerque and limited rentals are available in Grants, New Mexico and Gallup, New Mexico.

For aircraft owners, Grants-Milan Airport (GNT) features a 7000 foot paved runway, terminal building, ramp with aircraft tie downs, and an FBO with fuel and mechanical services.

A tour bus unloads visitors at Sandstone Bluffs
Sandstone Bluffs, Lava Falls, El Calderon, and all visitor centers are accessible to large or oversize vehicles.
NPS photo by Rick Best

By Car

Interstate 40 is the main east-west highway into the region. Exit 89, east of Grants, puts you onto NM Highway 117 which travels the eastern boundary of the park. The BLM's El Malpais Ranger Station is located 9 miles south of this exit and is open daily.

Exit 85 at Grants will take you to the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center, a multiagency facility. The center is located south of the interstate; it's open daily and has oversize parking for RVs and buses.

Exit 81, west of Grants, will take you along NM Highway 53. The highway crosses the west and north boundaries of the park. The NPS El Malpais Information Center is located 25 miles from the exit.

Public Transportation

Greyhound bus lines has service to Grants along I-40. A local transit line provides public transportation in the Grants-Milan area during the week.

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...