Natural Features & Ecosystems

A rubbly lava flow with a volcanic hill in the background at sunset.

Volcanoes and Lava Flows

Five major lava flows and at least eight volcanic vents created the lava landscape of El Malpais. Learn more about these volcanic features.

A caver is silhouetted against a lit cave background.

Lava Tube Caves

Almost 300 lava tube caves dot the volcanic landscape of El Malpais. Learn more about how these features unique to lava flows form.

Pools of water on top of a high sandstone bluff.

Tinajas

During the wet months, shallow depressions in sandstone fill with water and create micro ecosystems for life. Learn more about tinajas.

impression of tree bark in dark lava rock

Fossils

Volcanic eruptions preserved the impression of trees and plants in the basaltic lava rock. Learn more about lava tree mold fossils.

Last updated: February 11, 2022

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Grants , NM 87020

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