Visiting El Malpais requires preparation. The park is in a region of high desert, where much of the area is 6,400 feet (almost 2 km) elevation or higher, and receives less than 10 inches (25 cm) of precipitation a year. Altitude effects people in different ways, so having extra water and food is always suggested. One gallon (~4 liters) of water per person per day is ideal.
Weather conditions vary throughout the year. Be aware that temperature swings, strong winds, or a chance of thunderstorms may be present during your visit. Ask a ranger or check online for current conditions. Extra supplies may be needed if you plan on caving. Bring the gear and clothing you'll need to match the season of your visit for the most enjoyable and safe experience.
Last updated: May 12, 2021