hiking

kid friendly

views

walking

Experience an Extreme Land The primeval black basalt terrain of El Malpais was created by volcanic forces over the past million years. Molten lava spread out over the high desert from dozens of eruptions to create cinder cones, shield volcanos, collapses, trenches, caves, and other eerie formations. This stark landscape preserves one of the best continuous geologic records of volcanism on the planet.

hiking
22 days ago

Short walk back to the arch. Nice stop to do in the area. Good for all the family even on a hot day.

The caves were rad! It was cold once you got inside the caves - wear a light jacket.

fyi - closed on veterans day

loved it!

loved the ice caves, view from crater was pretty nice. Easy Trail

hiking
2 months ago

i've hiked this trail many times and always enjoy it. as stated, it is a vista lovers trail, and i count myself among those. the trail itself is easy to follow but does vary from sandy to rocky and uneven, i've noticed my normal pace is much slower on this trail than others, mostly because of the uneven surface (and lots of photo-ops).

Short hike to view of the Arch. The arch was great, the hike didn't give you much of a better view than you get from the road.

hiking
5 months ago

Returned and hiked again. Entered one of the caves (permit required). El Malpais is a great area.

Must keep sight of the cairns, very uneven lava rock is the trail. Really not much harder than many rocky trails.

Fun hike. Easy hike. I took my whole family. There are two trails. One trail winds around the volcano and the other takes you down to the ice cave. Pretty informative and fun for kids. It does require a 10$ fee.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike! I was glad to have my hiking stick along with me though. Several places with ankle twisting rocks along the path.

We started on the South Narrows trailhead off of 117, it was about 5 miles to the arch and it was gorgeous! Totally worth it and the stop off at the bluffs was amazing too! Will definitely return to explore more!

off road driving
8 months ago

The trail was sunny and dry when I entered it, but the weather turned real bad quickly when I was halfway through. Check weather before going, or wait until summer time to go through as the trail is very muddy during wet weather.

9 months ago

scenic driving
1 year ago

This route takes you off the main hwy and lets you see the real country. Many hiking, camping opportunities.

hiking
1 year ago

Easy trail. Nice to look at the flows without having to get off trail. Lava is hard on boots! Watch for mountain lions. There were a couple of sightings shortly before we arrived.

Just beautiful! My 2 boys (8 and 10) enjoyed the easy hike. Wonderful views!

If you love vistas, this hike is for you. Recommend hiking boots or shoes as you will be hiking on rocky terrain. Easy trail to follow with many rock cairns. Almost complete exposure to the sun the entire hike.

The trailhead is just off NM 117. Short hike to a beautiful natural bridge.

hiking
1 year ago