• 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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  • 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.

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?

A natural arch is carved out of the cliffs of Sandstone Bluffs

There are no trails at Sandstone Bluffs in El Malpais, but plenty of hiking opportunities exist for the route finder. Wandering the rim will reveal many hoodoos, rock formations, and natural arches. More...