We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Review Highlights
Mother Nature's finest offerings!

To me, this point of interest is for: getting out of your car, and traipising around on tierra... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Cal N
Impressive geology

I really enjoyed my visit to the El Malpais National Munument. It encompasses an area where a lot... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Hudson, New York
Read all 274 reviews
All photos (235)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveler Overview
  • Excellent65%
  • Very good28%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“lava falls”(22 reviews)
National monument with spectacular scenery.
Grants, NM
+1 505-876-2783
Improve This Listing
Reviews (274)
Filter reviews
264 results
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews sandstone bluffs lava falls national monument el malpais visitor center new mexico ranger station la ventana arch dirt road first stop picnic area beautiful park few hours mile loop different areas drove down parking lot
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 264 reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

To me, this point of interest is for: getting out of your car, and traipising around on tierra firma. There are abundant lava fields, sandstone geologic landscapes that are visible from your vehicle, but soooo much more impressive if you'll trek around it it. The...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Cal N
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I really enjoyed my visit to the El Malpais National Munument. It encompasses an area where a lot of vocanic activity took place several thousand years ago. Some impressive rock formations.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Beeper99_12
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Beautiful volcanic landscapes with areas of sedimentary arches. The hiking is not terrific but the area is definitely worth a look.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank ruthtwg
Reviewed November 2, 2018

We were driving north on 117 toward Grants NM and had never been on this road before. All of a sudden we were in what they call “The Narrows”, part of the El Malpais Monument. I am from Arizona and rocks we have, and cliffs...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank Cheryal
Reviewed October 21, 2018

First day hiked the /El Calderon Loop Train. Walked it "clockwise" so we first saw Junction Cave, Double Sinks and Bat & Xenolith Caves. Got a (free) Cave Permit at the Visitors' Center that authorized entrance into the caves. We decided to skip going into...More

Date of experience: October 2018
1  Thank Marcia-ABQ
Reviewed October 14, 2018 via mobile

We took the time to drive the full stretch of Rte 117 along the Park. Stopped at Ventana, the bluffs and the Lava Flows. Each offers a very different experience and feeling. The kids enjoyed climbing along the rock at the bluff but it is...More

Date of experience: October 2018
1  Thank IB E
Reviewed October 10, 2018 via mobile

We stopped here on a road trip. Honestly, I only chose it because it was on the way from Alburquerqe to Gallup (my first choice was Bandelier but I didn't want to detour). Turns out this place is amazing and one of the best parks...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank BlackberryBoy
Reviewed October 2, 2018

There is more to do here then just see the arch and bluffs. The caves are great - but you need to bring the right stuff to venture into them, gloves, hard hats, lights, long pants, jacket and good shoes. We went into 5 different...More

Date of experience: September 2018
2  Thank twoscratchy
Reviewed September 12, 2018 via mobile

Fabulous sandstone bluffs to climb all over. Be sure to go in both directions from the parking lot and take the trail that crosses over the staircase to get the best view of the other side and see some cool shaped formations.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank JULIED869
Reviewed August 30, 2018 via mobile

After driving and driving, we arrived at the area to find it gated with a CLOSED sign posted. Looked like it has been closed for some time.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Stay606740
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 11 nearby hotels
Travelodge by Wyndham Grants
449 reviews
12.62 miles away
Best Western Grants Inn
159 reviews
12.70 miles away
Super 8 by Wyndham Grants
377 reviews
12.72 miles away
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Grants-Milan
184 reviews
12.77 miles away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 31 nearby restaurants
La Ventana
166 reviews
14.24 miles away
Yaa'ka Cafe
17 reviews
14.92 miles away
El Cafecito
236 reviews
13.93 miles away
First Street Cafe
85 reviews
14.77 miles away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 13 nearby attractions
Sky City Cultural Center & Haak'u Museum
890 reviews
11.98 miles away
Sky City Cultural Center
16 reviews
14.94 miles away
Chaco Canyon Trading Co
14 reviews
16.81 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Beverly V
May 30, 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Cardinalis | Reviewed this property |
It's not a clear cut answer from visiting the website(s) and you should probably call. El Malpais is divided between NPS and BLM so there may be different rules in the two areas.
December 25, 2016|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Robert L | Reviewed this property |
I agree with JerryH990. 3 hours should be enough to tour the monument. As Jerry said, the Lava hike is very interesting, but the footing is very uneven and you need to be careful to follow the trail markers. Good hiking... More
George K
September 6, 2016|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Friend_of_IEEE | Reviewed this property |
The Park area is very slightly south and very slightly east of Grants, NM. The turnoff is easy to miss if you are traveling I-40 and zipping along at the speed limit. Especially if many trucks are on the road. What I... More
Travel Forum Posts
San Francisco, California
Thanksgiving trip (6 Replies)
We'll be flying into Albuquerque and leaving Thanksgiving day. I have random things that we added to our "want-to-see" list. Just wanting to know if there's anything in particular I'm overlooking. We like hiking, history and art/culture. Fri - arrive late and sleep Sat - El Malpais National Monument, Petroglyph National Monument Sun - Old Town, drive to Santa Fe, Santa Fe Plaza, Canyon Rd, Georgia O'Keefe, Star-Watching tour Mon - Bandolier NM, Los Alamos, Tue - Drive to Taos Pueblo,...More
October 20, 2012|
Response fromCasaAzul|
Chilies are made into green and red chile (a sauce used to cover various dishes) or into green or red chile stew (chunky stew with potatoes, chile, pork, chicken or beef). Also chile rellenos are a green chile filled with cheese and then fried in a batter, and then covered with green or red chile (both is called Christmas) Green chile is also put on burgers, pizza, in omelets, meat loaf, bread, soups and just about anything!
Houston, Texas
narrowing down itinerary/Santa Fe and Albuquerque (2 Replies)
We have about 4-5 days to divide between the Santa Fe and Albuquerque areas. I'm having trouble narrowing down the options for parks/monuments/hiking areas. I'm trying to figure out how to get the best variety of sights in the time that we have. So far I've listed: Puye Cliff Dwellings Petroglyph National Monument El Malpais National Monument Audubon Center Tent Rocks Bandelier National Monument Obviously we don't have time to see everything and there are other things we'd like to...More
October 23, 2011|
Response fromNYNM|
That's a lot of outdoors! I's skip Audubon Center (Its nice, but SF Ski Basin/Hyde park are a but nicer). You can also stop at 10,000 waves for a post-hike hot tub/massage that way. So think about this substitution. Id' skio El Malpais too and even Puye if time were limited. Actually, if you have time, I'd prefer the Red Rock area around Abuquiu/Ghost Ranch, such as Chimney Rock or the Box Canyon.
New York
El Malpais National Monument (4 Replies)
Is El Malpais National Monument an easy day trip from Albuquerque? About how long will it take to drive out there, see the sights & drive back to the city?
January 22, 2007|
Response fromcolinaz|
Long day trip. About 2.5 hours from Albuquerque. It also puts you by El Morro NM, the Zuni Pueblo (just to the west) and you would pass the Acoma Pueblo. There's no way you could so all of that in a day coming from ABQ, but you could probably do El Malpais and El Morro if you leave early and don't mind getting back later. It also depends on the time of year because your amount of daylight will matter as will the temperature and weather conditions (summers usually mean afternoon rain). hth