Basic Information

El Malpais Visitor Center

El Malpais Visitor Center is open 7 days a week, 9:00am-5:00pm. 

As a general rule, daily temperatures swing roughly 30 degrees (F) from night lows to afternoon highs. Summer is sunny and hot with monsoon rain storms with average high of 80 (F), while Winter is cool, sunny, with potential snow storms and an average high of 45 (F). Spring and Fall are generally dry, with the occasional storm rain and/or snow storm.

Entrance Fees:

El Malpais National Monument Entrance Fee - $0.00

There is no fee to enter El Malpais National Monument.

El Malpais Visitor Center

Located on exit 85 off I-40 in Grants, NM, the El Malpais Visitor Center is staffed by park rangers from the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management. Stop in for maps, information, orientation, cave permits, a Western National Parks Association bookstore, museum exhibits, and park movies.

El Malpais Information Center

Open seasonally on Hwy 53 in El Malpais National Monument, this small visitor information center offers cave permits, information, restrooms, and a Western National Parks Association Bookstore.

El Malpais is a primeval lava landscape
Experience earth in a primordial way at El Malpais.

NPS Photo


A Primeval Landscape in an Ancient Land

Named by Spanish explorers as they detoured around forbidding and unrelenting flows of basalt, El Malpais is home to one of the most complete sequences of lava flows in the country. Preserved within this harsh yet starkly beautiful landscape are many lava tube cave systems, cinder cones, spatter cones, and other intriguing volcanic features. Exploring this surreal region can be done easily via scenic drives, overlooks, and short trails. Or immerse yourself in the volcanic mysteries of El Malpais on a rugged backcountry trek.

Last updated: May 7, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1900 E. Santa Fe Ave.
Grants, NM 87020


(505) 876-2783

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