El Malpais National Monument is located in Grants. Plan to visit El Malpais National Monument during your Grants vacation using our convenient Grants vacation route planner.
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Having gone to 35 other national monuments I was kind of suspect that this one would be worth a stop but it is. They have a very good visitor center with a very knowledgeable staff. The park itself is... more »
This is a huge geographic area. If you are limited to a few hours I would suggest going down the east side road where you will see the Arch as well as the Sandstone Bluff and lava fields. Stop in the ... more »
We drove the whole way thru some beautiful country and reservation lands...outcrops of red rock and volcanic rock for miles and miles...was extremely different from what you would expect and breath ta... more »
David Borger Germann
We covered Sandstone Bluffs, La Ventana, and the Lava Falls Trail in about 5 hours. And we stopped for a picnic at the Narrows Picnic area (which has lovely, shaded tables). All of these with grade school children that loved it. Highly recommended.
This is off the beaten path but well worth the trip! Hard to believe the ice cave never gets above 31 degrees. It was 89 on the surface the day we were there walking down the steps the temperature difference between steps is mind blowing
My very favorite destination in the area by far! I was amazed by the breathtakingly beautiful scenery. My only complaint is that we got a bit of a slow start and I could have easily spent many more hours exploring this magnificent area. Highly underrated and under discussed with the locals. If you love nature and photography this is an absolute must!
You can spend months exploring El Malpaise! Whatever you do make sure to catch the sunset at Sandstone Bluffs Trail. There you'll find epic sandstone formations overlooking a lava field. We also went to the lava falls trail, it was a short and easy hike through a 3000 year old lava flow. And we had to go check out the La Ventana Natural Arch, the most famous landmark in the area. Its a paved walk to the arch, bathrooms in the vicinity. Next week we'll go to explore the ice caves, cant wait! I ended up getting into the Big Skylight Cave, old lava tube. It was phenomenal! The cave includes perfectly preserved lava benches, a pahoehoe flow floor, and delicate “moon milk” minerals. Under the skylight you can also observe a moss garden. it was somewhat difficult getting down into it. I recommend talking with one of the rangers at El Malpais visitor center. Update, today we hiked the Narrows Rim Trail, 4.2 mile in and out. It was spectacular in every sense. I hiked with my 15 month old son in a pack on my back, we finished the trail in about 4 hours with several breaks. There is some shade from the pine trees doted throughout the trail. Make sure to bring sunscreen and lots of water and snacks.
Lava tubes, ice caves, volcanos, oh my! El Malpais truly has it all. There are a couple different roads through the monument. I would highly recommend spending a day to visit both El Calderon and the La Ventana Arch.
Best things to do in Grants
El Malpais National Monument
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