El Malpais National Monument, Grants

4.6
#1 of 8 in Things to do in Grants
Must see · National Park · Nature / Park
El Malpais National Monument is a National Monument located in western New Mexico, in the Southwestern United States. The name El Malpais is from the Spanish term Malpaís, meaning badlands, due to the extremely barren and dramatic volcanic field that covers much of the park's area.

It is on the Trails of the Ancients Byway, one of the designated New Mexico Scenic Byways.
Plan to see El Malpais National Monument and other attractions that appeal to you using our Grants tour itinerary tool.
Source
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including El Malpais National Monument
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

El Malpais National Monument reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
305 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Stop at the National Monument visitor center just south of I-40. They will greet you and be genuinely glad you stopped in. The monument covers a large area and contains multiple types of geology...  more »
  • we saw almost all of el malpais, including camping, but lava falls was our favorite. if you are just stopping through, this would be the one trail i recommend. the ranger at the visitor center was...  more »
  • Stopped at Sandstone Bluff area - A one and one half gravel road takes you to neat rock formations and an overlook, If you have a young child along, keep a close watch as there are some drop-offs...  more »
Google
  • Great for kids to go caving! Free camping at Joe Skeen Campground-- I think we got the last spot for the night. Junction cave was awesome-- it is cool in there. Be sure to get a free permit at the visitors center, and definitely bring a helmet, or get one there because you will need it! If you have kids that love climbing all over everything, this is the place to go!
  • Hidden gem. We did not know that the park existed and that there were lava flows and tubes in New Mexico. We got any early start to avoid the hotest part of the day and found the trail to be spectacular. The wild flowers were beautiful.
  • Whole region is pretty good with lava formations. Quite a few trails with some being tough. There are quite a few caves as well
  • Truly incredible. There were lots of hiking trails and easily accessible lava tubes that you could climb in and explore. The area around it was real strange because it was almost like a mix between a forest and a desert and God just couldn’t make up his mind on what it should be so he just made it both. The weather was perfect, at least when I visited. The cinder cones themselves are amazing, even the smallest one is over 1000ft across and when you’re in the crater of it, you can really feel it’s size. Definitely worth visiting.
  • Beautiful scenery. A pleasure to drive instead of the freeway. Nice areas for picnicking.

Plan your trip to Grants

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Grants

4.2
Duration: 2 hours
4.8
Duration: 30 minutes
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
5.0
Duration: 2 hours

Side trips from Grants

4.8
Duration: 2 hours
4.7
Duration: 2 hours

Plans to El Malpais National Monument by other users

8 days in Albuquerque BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular & hidden gems Preferences: December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 8 days in Grants & Las Cruces BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular sights Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, slow & easy, hidden gems Preferences: August, outdoors Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 58 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems Preferences: February, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 43 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular sights Preferences: August Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 47 days in New Mexico & Austin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular sights Preferences: January Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 25 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 11 days in Northwest New Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 1 day in Grants BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular sights Preferences: February Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in New Mexico & Phoenix BY A USER FROM CANADA September, outdoors, hidden gems Preferences: September, outdoors Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 36 days in Albuquerque BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 28 days in New Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular sights Preferences: April Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
See more plans