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  Saturday, August 19, 2017
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El Malpais National Monument

El Malpais National Monument and Conservation Area was established in 1987 and is a relative newcomer to the National Park System. This monument preserves 114,277 acres of which 109,260 acres are federal and 5,017 acres are private. El Malpais means "the badlands" but contrary to its name this unique area holds many surprises, many of which researchers are now unraveling. Volcanic features such as lava flows, cinder cones, pressure ridges and complex lava tube systems dominate the landscape. Closer inspection reveals unique ecosystems with complex relationships. Sandstone bluffs and mesas border the eastern side, providing access to vast wilderness.

Plane - Major airlines serve Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is 72 miles east of the monument. Rental vehicles are available in Albuquerque and limited rentals are available in Grants, NM and Gallup, NM. Greyhound bus lines has limited service to Grants, NM.


Car - El Malpais is located south of Grants, NM. Two major state highways border the monument and conservation area and both are accessed via Interstate 40. Exit 89, east of Grants, will take you along NM 117 which forms the eastern boundary. BLM's El Malpais Ranger Station is located 9 miles south of this exit and is open daily. Exit 85 at Grants will take you to the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center, a multi-agency facility, located south of exit 85 and is open daily. Exit 81, west of Grants, will take you along NM 53 which forms the northwestern boundary. NPS's El Malpais Information Center is located 23 miles south of this exit and is open daily.


Public Transportation - Greyhound bus lines has limited service to Grants, NM

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