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El Malpais National Monument, Grants

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National Park · Nature / Park
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If you wish to express a comment about something related to the park in a formal and official capacity, several established methods and mechanisms are at your disposal. To get started, please visit the park website at or contact the park directly by mail at 123 E. Roosevelt Ave, Grants, NM 87020. Contact the park via telephone at 505-876-2783 or 505-783-4774.

El Malpais National Monument is located in the west half of New Mexico near Grants. The monument was established in 1987 and preserves an authorized boundary of 114,277 acres. The monument is made up primarily of volcanic features such as lava flows, cinder cones, pressure ridges and complex lava tube systems, however; sandstone bluffs and mesas can be found along the borders on the eastern side.

People have interacted with the landscape in and around the monument for more than 10,000 years. The monument is filled with many historic and archeological sites, which are kept alive by the spiritual and physical presence of contemporary Indian groups, including the Puebloan peoples of Acoma, Laguna, and Zuni, as well as the Ramah Navajo. These tribes continue their ancestral uses of area lands including lands within the monument by continuing to gather herbs and medicines, paying respect to their heritage and ancestors and renewing ties.

Most visitors come to the monument during the summer months. Travel within the monument can be challenging however as many of the access points are from dirt and lava covered trails, which, for the most part, are not routinely maintained. Access to some areas close due to snow and rain.
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El Malpais National Monument reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
318 reviews
  • This is a treasure, must drive here. Need to see the lava rocks too. Pretty easy hiking. A bit out of the way, but worth it! 
    This is a treasure, must drive here. Need to see the lava rocks too. Pretty easy hiking. A bit out of the way, but worth it!  more »
  • There are several places in the park where you can see outstanding views of rock formations & lava beds. 
    There are several places in the park where you can see outstanding views of rock formations & lava beds.  more »
  • Windy and scenic
  • It was amazing to hear about all of the volcanoes that are/were in New Mexico and the size of the lava fields….we had no idea! This was a great day; the visitor centre staff were very pleasant with lots of information. We went to the bluffs first which I imagine would be amazing at sunset! We then drive to the arch which was very cool and Lava falls which was cool to walk around! Recommend the trip!

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