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El Malpais National Monument

Grants, NM
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Ranked #2 of 10 Attractions in Grants
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Monuments/ Statues, Caverns/ Caves, National Parks, Landmarks
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Attraction details
Owner description: National monument with spectacular scenery.
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89 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
20 attraction reviews
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

If you intend to visit this park, I suggest that you work the west, Route 53 side of the park versus the east, Route 117 side. The west side has more variety, the Calderon area, bat caves, more diverse hiking, lava tubes, sink holes, and so forth. It also allows you time to pop over to the El Morro national... More

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San Diego, CA
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
11 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2014

Loved walking through lava tubes (off SR 53) and strolling up to the arch (off SR 117). The beauty of the sandstone bluffs was unexpected. Would like to return to explore some of the bat caves.

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Cedar Hill, Texas
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
39 attraction reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2014

We were told that El Malpais apparently means the Badlands in Spanish. Its name is because of the barren landscape primarily caused by lava. You’ll see lava fields along the route. We took a portion of old historic Route 66 from McCartys which paralleled the main artery – Highway 40. If you’ve been to the Badlands in South Dakota –... More

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Sierra Vista, AZ
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
22 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2014

Southwest of Grants, NM and I-40. Stop at the Northwest New Mexico (interagency) Visitor Center just off I-40, for museum exhibits and information. I started on the east side to see the Sandstone Bluffs Overlook, the ranger station, then Lava Falls and Ventana Natural Arch. There are also several hiking trails. The main visitor information center is on the northwest... More

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Norman, United States
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

Easy hiking. Can see lava tubes, caves with bats and volcano crater all in the same hike. Can get a cave permit to go into the cave at the visitors center.

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Cheyenne, Wyoming
Top Contributor
338 reviews 338 reviews
262 attraction reviews
134 helpful votes 134 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

This National Monument protects an old lava flow area. There are 3 different visitor's centers. I only stopped at the one on Highway 53. I enjoyed the El Calderon trail. It is a 3 mile loop, and I saw the caves and an old Cinder Cone that is now grown in with trees. The Highway 117 side is also nice.... More

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2014

Hike on old lava flows. See cinder cones up close and personal. Imagine the magnitude of nature. Watch for wild life on your hikes. Did not see any snakes but did enjoy watching a few tarantulas!

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Peyton, Colorado, United States
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2014

Went to the El Caludera trail and took the first cave back in a ways, you must go to the left when entering the cave else you just go under the trail and pop back out. Have a light, very easy to hike back in a quarter mile or so and see the inside of a lava tube.

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Scottsdale, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2014

I had never heard of this complex (monument, conservation area, wilderness areas), but it is the real deal: a vast lava flow, gorgeous sandstone cliffs, and extensive grasslands. We visited after a moist Monsoon season and the wildflowers alone made it worth our efforts.

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Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
25 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2014

We stumbled upon this site, and wow what a fantastic view. We traveled down the long road, which has fantastic rock formations. Then went to the top , which had amazing views! We were completely alone, atop of all the rocks, just looking at in amazement! I had the best day ever as I had not seen anything like it... More

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