“volcanoes, caves & eerie formations”
The El Malpais National Monument takes is nam,e from the Spanish word "malpais", meaning barren. The monument is located on the Zuni-Bandera volcanic fields. The landscape contains lava flows and cinder cones.
The views were amazing, but you need to make sure where you are going!
Several address are incorrect, and cell service is not reliable... so make sure you know where you are going and bring a map (yes, old school map)! just so you can find your way around when your GPS gets you lost! Ha-Ha!!
The address listed as well as the address in GPS will take you to the visiting center, best way to take is exit 89 and go south and you will be on the scenic road through the park. The La Ventana arch is beautiful and a short walk from the parking lot, very easy to find, and we also did the Lava Fields loop which is super beautiful, but the trail is a little hard to follow, so just a tip to follow the rock piles to know which way to go exactly!
Closed from the beginning of October thru the end of February. Stop at the visitors center off exit 85 for information and directions
You need to go to 1900 E. Santa Fe to the visitor center to get free cave passes if you want to explore. GPS will still take you to the wrong place so look for signs.
There is primitive camping with a free permit from the office. Location tag is wrong on RT's map. To get to the park exit 89 off hwy 40 onto 117 heading south. There is also a BLM free? primitive campground just south of BLM Office on Hwy 117.
VC was closed due to COVID but a Ranger was still available to give directions. I love this park site for its geological history as well as the wilderness aspect to it. Enjoy the silence and solitude.
Beautiful stop. Clean restroom, helpful Rangers, perfect weather to stretch legs and entertain kids.
This place was pretty neat and definitely off the beaten path. We didn't get to enjoy the 'tours' or any hiking. We were just passing through and needed a campsite. Very basic site but FREE and was full when we arrived. People were very nice and helpful. Caution: The road to the campsite is very rocky and bumpy. Wouldn't recommend for low vehicles or sports cars.
The location that the gps address gives you is in the middle of the road, 15 miles short of the desired destination. A sign on the road not far from where the navigation says "you have arrived" tells you that the El Malpais National Monument is 15 miles up the road. So if you were stopping here because you thought it was right off the 40 you will be greatly disappointed.
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El Malpais National Monument
- Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
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