The park has several major lava flows, some of which are interrupted by islands of native plant and animal communities called kipukas. These are undisturbed areas that were encircled but not covered by lava flows.
The "badlands" of El Malpais National Monument contain one of the longest lava tube cave
systems in North America.
Hiking trails and roads lead to other highlights of the monument, including the Cebolla Wilderness, a forested rimrock area that features prehistoric rock art and historic homesteads; the Zuni-Acoma Trail, an ancient Pueblo trade route; and La Ventana Natural Arch, a large sandstone formation dating from the dinosaur age.
El Malpais National Monument Information
Address: Exit 81 off Interstate 40; 23 miles south on NM 53
Hours: Open 24 hours a day; Sandstone Bluffs Overlook closes at dusk
Learn about these other national monuments:
To learn more about national national monuments, memorials, and historic sites, and other travel destinations in North America, visit:
- National Monuments: Learn more about America's national monuments.
- National Memorials: Discover national memorials in the U.S.
- National Historic Sites: Read about American national historic sites.
- New Mexico State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in New Mexico as well as other recreational activities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Eric Peterson is a Denver-based freelance writer who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.