• 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 »

Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center

The visitor center in Grants

The Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center in Grants, New Mexico


Located just south of I-40 at Exit 85, the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center is your public lands gateway for the region.

Big RVs and oversize vehicles will fit in our large parking lot.

A picnic area next to the front entrance is the perfect place to relax and plan your next adventure in El Malpais, on Mount Taylor, or in the wilds of the conservation area.

Our Western National Parks Association bookstore has topographic maps, field guides, books, and postcards for your perusal.
The main lobby in the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center.

Visitors enjoy the views from the main lobby of the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center.


Our 60 seat theater is the perfect place to enjoy our collection of over 50 videos, including the award winning "Remembered Earth," a 27 minute documentary that summarizes the high desert legacy of northwest New Mexico. Assistive listening equipment is available upon request.

"Discover the Wonders" in our exhibit area; nine suggested tours are detailed in photos, maps, and exhibits. Take the tour cards with you and plan your next vacation.

Group Use and Reservations

The visitor center is available for certain types of group use during normal operating hours. Please call our staff at 505-876-2783 with any requests for group use.

A Public Lands Partnership

The USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are partners with the National Park Service in operating the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center. Both agencies manage nearby public lands in the region. Use the links below for more information.

Bureau of Land Management

USDA Forest Service

Request for Proposals: Fort Wingate Center

The USDA Forest Service is seeking an entity or organization to occupy, maintain, and preserve the historic Fort Wingate Center near Gallup. Click here to download the document.

Visitors enjoy views of the galaxy at the visitor center.

Visitors enjoy views of the galaxy at the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center.


Tour the galaxy with us!

The center regularly hosts astronomy programs after dark. Check the events schedule for the latest in programs at the center and in the park.

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...