At El Malpais, the endless landscape of the western horizon, dotted with small trees, and the seemingly vertical cliffs bordering the eastern skies ignite a feeling of true New Mexican enchantment. With one of the grandest sunset spots The Lobo Life has seen so far, a gentle hike along the Sandstone Bluffs at El Malpais is a pleasant and rewarding day trip. For the more intrepid Lobo, deeper into the conservation provides lava tubes and caves perfect for exploring with a monument guide or by yourself. From the easily accessible viewpoints, hikes, and even a few natural rock arches, to the tight cave crawl spaces for the ambitious spelunker, El Malpais National Monument will certainly make you want to return again and again.
A tip for the driver: If you wish to visit the El Malpais Visitor Center, note that it is NOT at either of the northern entrances to the monument. Rather, from I-40 it’s off Exit 85 in the town of Grants, NM. When heading west on I-40, the first entrance into El Malpais National Monument is about 5 miles before the visitor center via NM 117. The second entrance is via NM 53, 3 miles after the visitor center along I-40.
Learn more on their website: https://www.nps.gov/elma/index.htm