Experience the Ring of Fire in the Land of Frozen Fire!
On October 14, 2023, El Malpais National Monument will experience an annular solar eclipse over the northern half of the park. During an annular eclipse, the moon passes between Earth and the Sun but is too far from Earth to entirely cover the Sun. Instead, it blocks almost 90% of the sun, leaving a "ring of fire" outlining the moon.
Where Can I See the Eclipse at El Malpais?
While most of the U.S. will see a partial eclipse, the northern portion of El Malpais National Monument will see an annular eclipse where the moon will be entirely outlined by the sun. The best places to see the eclipse will be in the northern-most parts of the park at the El Malpais Visitor Center and at Sandstone Bluffs Overlook. The park will host viewing events at both of these locations on the day of the eclipse.
El Malpais will host eclipse viewing events at the El Malpais Visitor Center and at Sandstone Bluffs Overlook. Both events will have limited parking, and gates at both locations will be closed once parking is full. Walk-ins are welcome, but please park in legal parking areas outside of each location. Eclipse glasses will be available at both locations (while supplies last).
El Malpais Visitor Center
Sandstone Bluffs Overlook
Safely Viewing the Eclipse
Unlike a total eclipse, an annular eclipse is NEVER safe to view without special filters to protect your eyes (and your camera!) from the sun. Learn more about how to safely view a solar eclipse. Eclipse glasses will be available at the El Malpais Visitor Center and Sandstone Bluffs Overlook during park events on the day of the eclipse. Glasses are available to purchase at the Western National Parks Association park store located at the El Malpais Visitor Center prior to the eclipse (as supplies last).
Frequently Asked Questions
Approximately half of the park will experience annularity (or totality) during this eclipse, and locations at the northern-most end of the park will experience the longest duration of annularity, particularly the El Malpais Visitor Center and Sandstone Bluffs Overlook.
There are no designated campsites or campgrounds at El Malpais National Monument. Camping and overnight parking are not allowed at the El Malpais Visitor Center, Sandstone Bluffs Overlook, or any park trailheads. Dispersed camping is allowed (with restrictions) in the park, but you cannot park overnight at any trailhead even if you are dispersed camping within the park. Learn more about El Malpais camping regulations.
Camping opportunities exist near El Malpais National Monument on nearby public lands and in private campgrounds.
Public Lands Camping
Private campgrounds are available in Grants, New Mexico near El Malpais National Monument. Visit the Grants Chamber of Commerce website for information on private camping options.
Hotels are available in nearby Grants, NM. Please visit the Grants Chamber of Commerce site for lodging options.
Eclipse glasses will be available for free the day of the eclipse at park events hosted at the El Malpais Visitor Center and Sandstone Bluffs Overlook.
Organizations in nearby communities will also be hosting eclipse viewing events. Learn more about other places to watch the eclipse.
Yes! El Malpais is dog friendly (although not always paw friendly). Well-behaved dogs who won't react to large crowds or other dogs are welcome to view the eclipse with their owners. Park policy requires all dogs to remain on a leash no longer than 6 ft at all times (with you attached to the other end). Only service animals are allowed in buildings.
Eclipses involve a lot of sitting around and waiting for totality to start. We recommend bringing:
Eclipse glasses will be available at both locations, but if you have a pair already feel free to bring your own in case we run out!
Last updated: September 19, 2023