• 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 »

Operating Hours & Seasons

A hiker treks along the Continental Divide Trail near El Calderon

Any season is a good season to explore the wild country of El Malpais.

NPS photo by Sue Olin

We're Open Year-round!

El Malpais National Monument and Conservation Area is a great place to visit in any season. Monument trailheads are open from sunrise to sunset daily. No overnight camping or parking is allowed at trailhead parking areas.

The Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center is open daily 8 am to 5 pm, and closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas day, and New Years Day.

The El Malpais Information Center is open daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas day, and New Years Day.

Depending on the season, access to backcountry areas may be difficult. Many of the dirt roads become impassable after summer rains or winter snowfall. Please contact one of our visitor centers for current road and trail information:

Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center 505-876-2783

El Malpais Information Center 505-783-4774

BLM Ranger Station 505-280-2918



Did You Know?

Bat on cave wall

Bats are the only mammals that fly. El Malpais National Monument is home to thirteen different species of bats. Pregnant Mexican Free-tailed bats join the resident bats during the summer months but leave once the pups are able to fly. More...