Lava Falls, El Malpais National Monument Hike

A little over an hour west of Albuquerque is El Malpais National Monument which is full of old lava fields and lava tubes and caves to explore. We learned about it from a friend at church and so after our hike at Riconada Canyon we headed out there. The road to the tubes and caves was impassible secondary to recent rain fall but we headed to the Lava Falls hiking trail which was great. The temperature had dropped significantly from our morning hike so I was glad we had packed our warm coats/hats/gloves but somehow we had managed to forget Paxton’s pants at the rental house. He didn’t seem to mind though as we went exploring. The lava fields were unlike anything I had ever seen before, and I know the photos don’t really do them justice. There were huge deep cracks and crevasses and huge bowls with giant hills of lava. We had a blast exploring and jumping the cracks. There wasn’t a set path, one just followed the cairns that were spaced out along the way. We climbed up one of the walls of one of the big bowls and we might have all gotten a little stuck and stranded for a bit but Clint luckily was able to get each one of us down safely. It was such a fun hike and the kids had smiles on their faces the entire time.

On our way out of the National Monument we saw a side road and took it and found a really neat little path that took us up near a huge arch. It was kind of the cherry on top to our great day.