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.