• Sweeping panoramic views of lava flows, cinder cones, and distant mountains can be enjoyed at Sandstone Bluffs.

    El Malpais

    National Monument New Mexico

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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.

Things To Know Before You Come

A vehicle is stuck in the thick mud of County Road 42

Don't let this happen to you! Plan ahead and bring the right equipment and gear for your travels.

NPS

Touring El Malpais requires preparation. Bring the right vehicle; if you plan on exploring the more remote sections of the park, a properly equipped four-wheel-drive vehicle with high clearance is suggested. Gear and clothing should be matched to the season of your visit.


Your safety is your responsibility here as well. Given the long distances and difficult terrain, it can be a while before help can reach you. Bring the gear you'll need to have an enjoyable and safe trek.

Did You Know?

A lava moonscape in El Malpais

When people say that El Malpais lava country looks like a "moonscape" they aren't far from the truth. Much of the moon is covered with basalt lava flows which form the "maria" or lunar seas. Astronauts trained on lava flows in preparation for walking on the moon. More...