Basic Information

Gnarled trees grow out of a primeval lava landscape under an open sky.
Experience earth in a primordial way at El Malpais.

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A Primeval Landscape in an Ancient Land


Nick-named "the badlands" 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 via scenic drives, overlooks, and short trails. For a more immersive experience in the volcanic mysteries of El Malpais, rugged backcountry and lava tube caves are yours to explore.

Last updated: October 19, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1900 E. Santa Fe Ave.
Grants, NM 87020

Phone:

(505) 876-2783
This number calls the El Malpais National Monument Visitor Center. Rangers are on staff from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM to answer calls.

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