El Malpais National Monument has various permits that are required for certain activities within the park boundaries.
Caving permits are not being issued at this time. All lava tube caves are closed until further notice for resource and human safety purposes.
Educational Caving Trips
All groups and students interested in caving at El Malpais NM need a caving permit. Groups are asked to notify the park at least 30 days in advance of their visit. Please call 505-876-2783 for more information.
Commercial Photography and Filming
This activity includes, but is not limited to, any filming or photography intended for commercial public viewing or advertising, such as commercial still photography, motion picture photography, television commercials, and/or commercial videotaping. Please allow at least twenty-one days for processing. If you have questions, you may contact the Commercial Filming Permit Coordinator at 505-285-4641 ext. 225.
Commercial Photography and Filming (PDF 215 KB) - Use the long application for more complex photography and/or filming projects.
Special Use Permit
Individuals or groups who wish to use El Malpais National Monument for a special purpose or event require a Special Use Permit. A Special Use Permit must be applied for and approved by the Superintendent. Special Use Permits include, but are not limited to, weddings, large group picnics, sporting events, church services, public spectator attractions, entertainment, ceremonies, 1st Amendment activities (fee is waived), or anyone wishing to use a public address system. These permits are available in both a long (PDF 123 kB) and a short (PDF 108 kB) version. Please allow at least twenty one days for processing (ten days for 1st Amendment activities). If you have questions or are interested in these permits, please contact the Special Use Permits Coordinator at 505-285-4641 ext. 225.
Anyone wishing to conduct research at El Malpais National Monument must first submit an application. Contact the Research Permit Coordinator at 505-285-4641 ext 227or email us for more information..
Commercial Use Authorizations
Anyone (referring to individuals, corporations, and other entities) wishing to provide commercial services for El Malpais visitors in limited circumstances must apply for a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) (PDF 299 kB) before conducting any type of commercial service. CUAs, although used to authorize commercial services to El Malpais visitors, are NOT concession contracts. They are intended to provide a simple means to authorize suitable commercial services to visitors in the limited circumstances of the legislation (Section 418 of the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998, Public Law 105-391).
Last updated: December 26, 2020