• 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.

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?

Cerro Rendija is a shield volcano

Cerro Rendija volcano, just west of Big Tubes in El Malpais National Monument, is a good example of a shield volcano. Low viscosity lava spread out rapidly from the vent and kept the volcano from gaining much vertical height. More...