El Malpais National Monument

Location: western New Mexico
Date: February 25, 2011

El Malpais National Monument is a landscape including many volcanic features including cinder cones, craters, lava flows, caves, and other formations.  Much of the area is a landscape similar to Craters of the Moon National Monument, but perhaps with more diverse features and fewer people.

Collapsed lava caves at Junction Cave

I only stopped at the Junction Cave area, where the caves have been closed recreational use.  Just west of here is the Bandera Crater ice caves, which are privately owned and open to the public.  There are few trails in the monument, and on the eastern side of the monument are the most scenic areas: the Sandstone Bluffs and La Ventana Natural Arch.

While the national monument is managed by the National Park Service, much of the surrounding land is managed as the El Malpais National Conservation Area by the Bureau of Land Management.  A short distance west of the monument is El Morro National Monument.

Junction Cave

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.


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