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 »
Your Safety is Your Responsibility
This is not your average walk in the park. Most of El Malpais National Monument is undeveloped. Piles of rocks, called cairns, mark rugged routes across the lava flows which can be difficult to follow. Every year there are search and rescue operations for lost and/or injured hikers. In most of these cases, people were not prepared for the conditions at El Malpais.
Hiking and exploring El Malpais can be a fun and rewarding
• Am I wearing the right clothes and shoes for the trail conditions?
The information here and in area guides is intended to help you as you explore, but it cannot replace common sense and good judgement.
To report a safety hazard e-mail us. Please be specific in your message describing the hazard, location of the hazard, and any other pertinent information.
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...