• 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 »

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.

NPS

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...