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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.

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14 days ago

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5 months ago

Definitely get the free caving permits from the ranger station and check the caves out. Take a helmet and a light!

hiking
5 months ago

Nice Hike! Don't let the lack of elevation change fool you! If you have never hiked on Lava rock before it can get tough in spots. Don't forget to knock out the El Calderon loop trail if you have time. just a short drive from this trailhead.

get a permit at the ranger's office (no advance registration needed), get a map, bring headlamp and helmet (kneepad if you have them) and go explore the caves! we did all four caves in half a day: Junction (short and easy), Xenolith (a bit difficult and narrow), ice caves (super short like a joke), and big skylight. all pretty beginner friendly but fun and beautiful. I have a fwd and it's fine on the road.

hiking
6 months ago