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#51 of 104 national parks in United States

Best trails in El Malpais National Monument

336 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico? AllTrails has 12 great hiking trails, views trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 7 easy trails in El Malpais National Monument ranging from 0.7 to 86.5 miles and from 6,512 to 7,969 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

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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Map of trails in El Malpais National Monument
Park information
Park hours
Monday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Tuesday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Wednesday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Thursday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Friday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Sunday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Contact
(505) 783-4774
Top trails (12)
#1 - Narrows Rim Trail
El Malpais National Monument
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(58)
Length: 6.9 mi • Est. 2 h 46 m
Narrows Rim Trail is a 6.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near San Rafael, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number ofShow more
#2 - La Ventana Arch
El Malpais National Monument
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(61)
Length: 0.4 mi • Est. 11 m
La Ventana Arch is a 0.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Grants, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used fShow more
#3 - Sandstone Bluffs Trail
El Malpais National Monument
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(36)
Length: 3.8 mi • Est. 1 h 45 m
As of June 1, 2020 El Malpais National Monument has reopened all trailheads.Show more
#4 - Big Tubes Trail
El Malpais National Monument
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(29)
Length: 1.9 mi • Est. 49 m
A rough but fairly level hike to and around two collapsed lava tubes. This trail takes you through an open forest containing a variety of trees such as aspen, ponderosa pine, pion and juniper. The laShow more
#5 - Bandera Crater - Ice Caves
El Malpais National Monument
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(36)
Length: 1.9 mi • Est. 53 m
The trail takes off from the quaint Ice Caves Trading Post which houses many Native American artifacts found in the area dating back 1200 years. There are actually 2 trails leaving from the Trading PShow more
#6 - El Calderon Loop Trail
El Malpais National Monument
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(43)
Length: 3.8 mi • Est. 1 h 47 m
El Calderon Loop Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near San Rafael, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily Show more
#7 - Lava Falls Trail
El Malpais National Monument
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(37)
Length: 0.9 mi • Est. 23 m
Lava Falls Trail is a 0.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Grants, New Mexico that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking,Show more
#8 - Zuni-Acoma Trail
El Malpais National Monument
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(21)
Length: 15.4 mi • Est. 6 h 23 m
Zuni-Acoma Trail is a 15.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Cubero, New Mexico that offers scenic views and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is prShow more
#9 - Grants to Quemado Scenic Drive
El Malpais National Monument
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(4)
Length: 86.5 mi
Grants to Quemado Scenic Drive is a 86.5 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near San Rafael, New Mexico that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. ThShow more
#10 - El Malapais National Monument Sandstone Bluffs
El Malpais National Monument
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(6)
Length: 0.7 mi • Est. 20 m
Sandstone Bluffs is more of an extended scenic viewpoint than a trail. But it is beautiful and well worth the effort to find it and explore. There is a parking lot conveniently located nearby and a feShow more
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