• 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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  • Junction Cave NOW OPEN!

    Junction Cave is again OPEN for visitation. Get your free caving permit at either the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center at i-40/Exit 85 in Grants, or at the Information Center on NM53.

  • 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 »

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 gopher snake at El Malpais

Gopher snakes can mimic rattlesnake behavior, thrashing their tails in dry grass or leaves. These elegant reptiles are nonvenomous and help control rodent populations in high desert regions like El Malpais. More...