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Contact: Mandi Toy, 505-285-4641 x18
Grants, NM – El Malpais National Monument re-opened Junction Cave to caving on Monday, April 30, 2018. The cave will remain open through the summer. Visitors holding a free caving permit may enter the cave. Caving permits may be obtained at the El Malpais or El Morro Visitor Centers.
Junction Cave was closed in the winter months to protect bats during hibernation. The cave houses the largest number of Townsend’s big-eared bats overwintering at El Malpais. Other bats such as big brown, silver-haired, and several species of myotis bats can also be found in the cave. There are very few caves that provide such a suitable habitat for hibernating bats.
A marked trail guides visitors through Junction Cave. The trail markers are metal strips with reflective red dots indicating the way into the cave from the entrance; reflective white dots on the reverse side of the strips mark the return to the cave gate and exit. Visitors must stay on the trail for safety and to protect sensitive off-trail resources.
Cavers will note that the back section of the main passage of the cave is closed to protect sensitive habitat. Please respect this closure to aid the National Park Service in protecting unique habitats for future generations. Call El Malpais Visitor Center at 505-876-2783 for more information.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.