Feel free to visit or call one of El Malpais National Monument’s visitor centers for more information. PDFs of hiking guides are also available. Map of El Malpais National Monument – extensive lava fields and many other volcanic features in northwest New Mexico, near Grants. El Malpais National Monument is a National Monument located in western New Mexico, in the Map showing the location of El Malpais National Monument and National Conservation Area. Location, Cibola County, New Mexico, USA.

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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.

Went with the kids. They had a great time. The lava flow will eat your shoes like I eat tacos. By the way that is really fast.

Easy hikes to the cave and volcano! Both were awesome to see.

Maps – El Malpais National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)

Easy walking over lava Trail is well marked with cairns. Beautiful place, the contrast of black Lava to white Sandstone is artful The trails and scenery are beautiful and the staff are very friendly and informative.

Had fun seeing the cave and the volcano!! Easy hike to both and I liked the landscape going up to the volcano! We did not go the whole way, as it began to get hot with little shade. Paws are still not nationap healed.

Mostly my malpsis and I feel terrible! Just FYI for those of you who would not realize this. We were a couple miles in before turning back. Challenging terrain and trail is a little hard to follow. It is just amazing to go from degrees to 31 degrees in just over a 20 meter drop to the Ice Cave. Well-marked trail along a lava flow and into the lava tubes.


Special care was taken to mark the safest route into the depths of the caves with reflective tape. Bring a headlamp and a back-up per person. Although a short hike to the Tubes, our group spent way more time than intended scrambling through and exploring the Ives.

This is a great place to escape the heat. Several picnic tables under the trees provided a nice setting for our picnic.

Easy walk but not a lot going on for the majority of it. This listing and some of the reviews seem to be referring to several different trails. The route shown here is definitely not easy. My husband and I are experienced hikers, and we lost the trail a few times.

I would rate it as moderate most of the way for the routefinding needed. That is because it is a class 3 scramble. Definitely NOT easy or even moderate, especially when two people are trying to get a 60 pound dog up the rock face.

We kept checking the AllTrails app thinking we were off trail, maalpais we were right on route. The “no dogs” tag on Malpaiis is also incorrect; the sign in the parking lot states all El Malpais trails are dog friendly but to consider the trail surface, obviously. This trail as written was completely fine for our dog except for the scrambling near the end ; the trail literally only crosses volcanic rock twice for maybe 10 feet total.

Note monumeng there are not views of the Ventana Arch from this trail. Though there are a couple smaller natural arches that mxp cool! Overall a nice trail; just be prepared, as the route currently shown does not match the mnoument or description. Nice hike, some slight up hill grades. Make sure that you continue up the natlonal trail for really nice views of the volcano bowl and surrounding countryside.

Yes a little rough trail and little up hill but pretty easy. Natioal unique views of caves and the volcano cone. Recommend starting early from the Acoma side.

El Malpais National Monument

Started from the Zuni side and regretted it. Dogs are only fine if your camping half way or only hiking part of it. The is a nice trail with pretty views, though it does get monotonous. The trail isn’t always clear, but the route is well-marked with cairns.


It ends with a view of La Ventana, which is a great place to rest and have a snack before heading back.

It was an enjoyable hike in the winter, though I imagine it gets moniment hot in the summer due to natonal lack of shade. Excellent challenge for novice hikers and plenty of unusual scenery to keep the more experienced equally engaged.

This trail is well marked and easy for the average hiker, but as others have stated, rough at times due to the volcanic rock depending on which return route you take – hiking boots are recommended. Easy going hike to the volcano and ice cave. This was a fun little road stop! Trail is not distinct at times, but nationa, have created small cairns to lead the way. Small patches of snow in the shade. Trail surface varies between very soft sand and rocky.

Plan for water, hat and good hiking shoes.

Alexander Gavurnik on Zuni-Acoma Trail. Jennifer Schillaci on Natiohal Ventana Moonument. Mickey Best on Lava Falls Trail. Eric Munn on Sandstone Bluffs Trail. Sayuri Coco on Lava Falls Trail. Sayuri Coco on La Ventana Arch. Denise Garcia on Narrows Rim Trail.

Bethany Moore on Lava Falls Trail. Latter half of loop is not as pretty. Lisa Callarman on Big Tubes Trail. B Walters on La Ventana Arch. Cool arch just steps from parking. Lee Robinson on Zuni-Acoma Trail. Ruth Sarafin on Narrows Rim Trail.

Map of El Malpais National Monument

Megan Hunter on Lava Falls Trail. It was a good hike. Jenn Tischner on Narrows Rim Trail. Good to see once. Liz Painter on La Ventana Arch. Incredible geological site to see!! Jay Swift on Zuni-Acoma Trail. Jon Agostini on Zuni-Acoma Trail.