El Malpais National Monument, Grants
Categories: Caves, Monuments, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots
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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This is very unexpected. A beautiful drive until you get to the dirt road, and then you think am I in the right place. Yes, you are just go down the road it's about 1.5 miles. Then park and start look... read more »
Stopped in for a visit while traveling through New Mexico. The visitor center was closed for the winter but, we walked the trails on the El Calderon. We walked the 3.5 mile loop and it was a nice morn... read more »
We had extra time in Grants and were looking for something to do. We drove to the El Malpais Visitor's Center where a delightful Ranger told us all about the National Monument. She spent quite a bit o... read more »
This is a hidden gem. We would have never known about it had the ranger at the next exit not told us about it while we were stopping to stretch and get some water. The drive down the gravel road is MORE than worth it, even if you feel like your car will be shaken to bits. :) The view is spectacular. There are all these sandstone cliffs to climb over and the lava flows are spread out in the valley below. It was an excellent atop, and well worth turning around and driving back 15 minutes. It will be a required stop for us next time we drive out west.
This is really something to see. It's a beautiful place. We were there July 2016 and stayed in Joe Skeen Campground which is free dispersed camping. It rained every day late in the afternoon but was sunny for most of the day.
As a photographer, I loved the landscape here. The volcanic rocks, unique flowers and little details of the light and shadows were beautiful to me. I did not get to spend enough time here and will return.
If you want to go in to the caves you need to acquire a caving pass at the visitor's center. Sanitize your equipment before entering to protect the bats and be sure to have a high-clearance all-wheel-drive vehicle, the road to big tubes becomes impassable at any hint of water.
I took some teenagers "caving". We went into the bottom of Xenolith Cave. I can not stress enough how much fun it was. The next time we are in New Mexico we plan to spend much more time at El Malpais.
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