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Hiking the Zuni-Acoma Trail
9 miles one way, this ancient crossing of the lava flows is as rewarding as it is challenging.
The trail begins
The Zuni-Acoma Trail crosses the lava flows of El Malpais and has been in use for centuries.
A rock cairn marks the Zuni-Acoma Trail near Encerrito in El Malpais.
Cave arch near Zuni-Acoma Trail
The arched roof of a short lava tube cave near the Zuni-Acoma Trail.
Tree cast in lava
A long-vanished tree left its impression in hot lava, which cooled and preserved the shape.
Black cairns in black lava
The black cairns can blend in with the black lava landscape; careful navigation is required out here since landmarks can be out of view.
Stunted trees in a surreal forest
Stunted trees grow in the lava, and some may be centuries old.
A jumbled landscape
The rugged landscape of El Malpais requires careful hiking.
The bleak beauty of lava country
The stark landscape of El Malpais is revealed on the Zuni-Acoma Trail.
Ripples of pahoehoe
Sculpted swirls of pahoehoe lava are found along the Zuni-Acoma Trail.
A broken landscape
The broken nature of the lands traversed by the Zuni-Acoma Trail require careful hiking.