Junction Cave CLOSED for the winter
Junction Cave is now closed to protect hibernating bats that overwinter within. Please help protect our winged relatives by respecting this closure. The cave will reopen for visitation on March 16th, 2014. Other permit-accessible caves remain open.
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 »
Places To Go
Enjoy a vast panorama of lava flows twisting below golden cliffs. Stand on the rim of an ancient cinder cone. Walk over a lava bridge as wide as an interstate overpass. Experience the stygian world of lava tube caves. Trek down a section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. All of these places are here at El Malpais.
Download our brochures to help you plan your visit, or stop by a visitor center while you are in the area for trail maps and brochures.
Sites on Highway 53
Sites on Hwy 117
La Ventana Arch (BLM)
Did You Know?
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...