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.