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El Malpais National Monument

Grants, NM
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Ranked #1 of 10 attractions in Grants
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: National Parks, Monuments/ Statues, Caverns/ Caves
Traveler Description: El Malpais National Monument is a fascinating place. Some of the terrain in the monument is incredibly difficult to hike across. But you will see... more »
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71 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Hindhead, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
18 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014 NEW

El Malpais and El Morro are worth visiting. As usual the Parks service had an excellent visitors centre. A lovely lady ranger gave us lots of information for our visit. W called in again later to say thank you. It is a very volcanic area, for us very much like our visit a few years ago to Iceland although there... More

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

If you get a chance to take part in the evening hike out to the "bat cave" and observe the literally tens of thousands of bats leaving or the night, don't miss it. It's amazing (and free)! It's fine for kids as long as they're old enough to control their talking and can stay up past 9:00.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
17 attraction reviews
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

We took several short hikes to explore the lava fields and the stone arches. Gorgeous scenery - getting to the sites was half the fun! I'm not sure how much kids would appreciate it, because the beauty is more subtle than spectacular.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Akron, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

Some friends and I went to El Malpais in June to check out the caves. You have to stop either at the Northwest New Mexico visitor's center or the El Malpais information center to get a caving permit, but it's free. The man we spoke to was very funny and nice. They suggest caving gear such as helmets and gloves,... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Wallingford, Connecticut, United States
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
16 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

Hiking across the Malpais is like being on the moon. Black rock piles and lava-like features cover the ground. You are rewarded for your efforts with a petroglyph, and beautiful, if strange, vistas.

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Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
6 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

Just off I40 along a side road. Great video for story of area. Great place to get a NPS passport stamp. Other sites besides El Malpasis are not NPS sites so were not visited.

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Haddon Heights, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2014

We visited a cinder hill, explored in underground caves, and hiked a few miles to the various old volcanoes. The terrain was much the same, little interpretive descriptions, and basically a very bland trek. I would skip it and head straight to Gila National Forest.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Sonoma, California
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
16 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

The monument has two areas, accessible from Hwy 117 and Hwy 53--- both are worth a visit. Very uncrowded for the most part. Good hikes and interesting geology and wildflowers! worth a visit

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Marietta, Georgia
Top Contributor
217 reviews 217 reviews
74 attraction reviews
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

The real beauty of El Malpais is on the eastern end of the Monument on highway 117; Sandstone Bluff Overlook and La Ventana (the Window), a natural arch. Both are good photo ops in the late afternoon.

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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2014

Spent the day here and thoroughly enjoyed it. The park I did find, however, was slightly hard to navigate. The way the roads are set up can make getting between different places of the park a little challenging. Firstly, Malpais has three different information centers. If you want to do the El Calderon trail, which is a nice 3 mi... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 6

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