• 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 »

Outdoor Activities

Hikers trek past sandstone buttes in El Malpais.

Put the boot to the trail and experience the land of enchantment at El Malpais.


Experience a legendary land!

In El Malpais, you can take in as much or as little as time allows. Enjoy scenic driving on paved highways. Lock in the four wheel drive for backcountry roads. Wander our trails; everything from short easy walks to strenuous treks down ancient routes can be done here.

But there's more. Diverse plant and animal communities can be observed by the patient naturalist. Four seasons provide dramatic elements that change the landscape through the year. Lava tube caves provide a window onto an intriguing natural world below the surface.

Download our brochures to plan your next adventure!

Did You Know?

Rough aa lava can be found near Cerro Rendija

Two distinct kinds of lava can be found in the varied flows of El Malpais. Lava is known by names from the Hawaiian Islands. Aa lava is clumpy and forms numerous irregular chunks, while pahoehoe lava cools to form smooth surfaces often covered with ropy textures. More...