Your Safety is Your Responsibility
Most of El Malpais National Monument is undeveloped. Piles of rocks, called cairns, mark routes across the rugged lava flows which can be difficult to follow. Every year there are search and rescue operations for lost and/or injured hikers. In most of these cases, people were not prepared for the conditions at El Malpais.
Hiking and exploring El Malpais can be a fun and rewarding experience if you are prepared. Before you go, ask yourself:
The information here and in area guides is intended to help you as you explore, but it cannot replace common sense and good judgement.
To report a safety hazard e-mail or call us at 505-876-2783. Please be specific in your message describing the hazard, location of the hazard, and any other pertinent information.
Hiking Cairned Routes
Last updated: January 4, 2021