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“A Day Trip”

El Malpais National Monument
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Grants
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: National monument with spectacular scenery.
Reviewed January 9, 2014

El Malpais is to the west of Albuquerque, NM along IS-40. The issue is it is a vast land with great scope of trekking and walks...

I decided to combine this with the El Morro monument.

We approached along the west border (exit 81, I think) and took a hike along 2 mile stretch and saw the sink holes and junctional cave. Unfortunately caves are closed for winter!!

Then after doing the El Morro Natl Monument, we went along the eastern border on exit 89 and saw the sand bluffs and the natural arch!

There is 7.5 mile walk across the land but it is hard to combine that with any other trip.

Although it was possible to see only periphery, given a day trip that was all possible.

But this gives a good idea of geological landscape.

Thank pvasula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (244)
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"lava falls"
in 19 reviews
"national monument"
in 27 reviews
"el malpais"
in 48 reviews
"east side"
in 14 reviews
"visitor center"
in 30 reviews
"new mexico"
in 34 reviews
"la ventana arch"
in 16 reviews
"ranger station"
in 15 reviews
"down the road"
in 8 reviews
"few hours"
in 7 reviews
"sandstone cliffs"
in 8 reviews
"day trip"
in 9 reviews
"picnic area"
in 6 reviews
"first stop"
in 4 reviews
"different areas"
in 4 reviews
"mile loop"
in 5 reviews
"beautiful park"
in 3 reviews

180 - 184 of 244 reviews

Reviewed January 3, 2014

This place needs some determination to get to. It is well worth it. There are hikes ranging from 1.25 miles to 20 and more, if you can make it. The scenery is most unusual, sandstone and laval beds (sturdy hiking shoes are a must!)

3  Thank elkabelka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014 via mobile

Any time I pass through New Mexico on I-40 I MUST veer off the interstate and take an hour on the top of the sandstone bluffs overlooking the lava flows. I discovered this spot by accident when I got curious upon seeing the sign on 40. Wanted to catch one last sight in NM. As if I already knew where to go, I pulled onto a gravel road 10 minutes south of 40 and ended up on the bluffs. When I'm here I feel completely at peace. This place feels absolutely sacred, especially since many people don't know it exists. It is very quiet and out of three visits (2 during the peak of tourist season) I have never encountered a living soul. Walked right along the edge of the towering cliffs with my dog, neither of us concerned with worldly distractions. Last time we stopped it was snowing and the desert was covering with a light dusting - just enough to add to the desert's beauty without completely masking the land. The clouds cleared quickly to expose the mountains within them, like billowing smoke below a baby blue sky. This is where I go to rediscover myself and clear my head of all stresses. It doesn't matter how much time you spend here. You will be enlightened nonetheless.

4  Thank Aaronius85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2013

When visiting Albuquerque (my husband was in conferences all day) I decided to explore! What an amazing opportunity! Highly recommend traveling around the area but you'll need a few hours, at least. I wish I'd had more time but I had to be back for an obligation. The sandstone bluffs were breathtaking and it was so peaceful and quiet there I just sat for a while and drank it all in! The natural occuring arc was amazing as well and just the scenery on the way was worth stopping and taking a look. I wanted more time!!

2  Thank Justbreathe2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 19, 2013

El Mapais means "the badlands", but it is beautiful. A couple friends and I hiked the Narrows Rim trail, which runs along the top of the mesa overlooking the lava flows. The trail is about 4 miles each way, and the far end overlooks the La Ventana arch. The views are spectacular, the hike is not too arduous, and we had a great time. In the spring we plan to explore some of the other areas of the monument.

2  Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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