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 »
Fire restrictions now in effect!
Stage 2 fire restrictions are now in effect at El Malpais. No smoking except within a vehicle, and no campfires or charcoal fires anywhere in the monument. More »
Things To Do
A hiker surveys the lava flows of El Malpais from Sandstone Bluffs.
El Malpais offers everything from easy drives, scenic overlooks, and short walks to strenuous trails and rugged backcountry. Take your pick of many great outdoor sights and spectacles that encompass the geology, history, and culture of the region.
Download our brochures to help you plan your adventure!
Can you spot the trail cairn? Traveling cairned routes demands attention.
NPS Photo by Sue Olin
Hiking Cairned Routes
Did You Know?
The cane cholla cactus thrives in the lower elevation regions of El Malpais. This hardy and tough looking plant produces many vibrantly colored flowers in the late spring. More...