El Malpais NCA

Hiking Trails

brochure El Malpais NCA - Hiking Trails
El Malpais National Conservation Area U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management l l Hiking Trails Help to protect our natural resources by staying on the designated trails All mileages listed begin from the BLM Ranger Station located 9 miles south of 1-40 on Highway 117. Ventana Natural Arch. The trailhead and parking area are located at the southern end of the picnic area. Hike Description: The trail takes you Hike Description: This is a relatively to the top of a 500 foot sandstone easy walk to the base of the arch. mesa where you will have scenic Along the way you views of the lava beds will be and surrounding surrounded by country. At the dramatic end of the trail sandstone cliff you will have a formations, great view of La pinon and Ventana Natural Wear proper clothing. Even in summer, Arch. This is a juniper trees carry a light jacket in case you are along with a designated caught out after nightfall. variety of wilderness area shrubs and Wear good walking shoes or hiking shoes. and is not grasses. At accessible by the end of the bicycle. walk you will be rewarded with a magnificent view Length of Hike: Approximately 6½ of La Ventana, one of New Mexico’s miles round trip. largest natural arches. The trail leading up to the base of the arch is primitive. Please stay on the ARMIJO CANYON: designated trail in an effort to protect Directions: Drive south on SR 117 our fragile resources. for 22.6 miles until you reach CR 41 (otherwise known as “the Pietown Length of Hike: Approximately ½ road”). Drive south on CR 41 for mile round trip. approximately 3.7 miles until you reach the Armijo Canyon sign, which will be on the east side of the road. NARROWS RIM HIKE: Turn left and after approximately a Directions: Drive south on SR 117 mile and, a half you will reach the for 12.5 miles to the Narrows Picnic parking area, this is the trailhead. Area located 3 miles south of La County road 41 and the road leading to Armijo Canyon may become impassable when wet, so please keep an eye on the weather. Hike Description: This is a pleasant hike, but keep in mind that it is very sandy. The trail winds among pinon and juniper trees and will take you to a very nice homestead. This is a designated wilderness area and is not accessible by bicycle. Length of Hike: Approximately 4½ miles round trip. Other Notes: The Dittert Site is at the mouth of Armijo Canyon. If you are interested in going to the Dittert Site please check with the BLM Ranger Station on SR 117 to get a brochure and accurate directions. Carry plenty of water and a high energy snack. GRGR AN AN OOL A LA LA VENTANA NATURAL ARCH: Directions: Drive south on SR 117 approximately 9 miles. The arch is visible from the road. l ll HOLE- IN-THE-WALL: Directions: Drive south on SR 117 until you reach CR 42, also known as Chain of Craters Back Country Byway. Turn on this road and proceed northwest for approximately 2.1 miles until you reach a fork in the road, take a right and proceed north for approximately 5 miles to the trailhead. Please keep an eye on the weather, county road 42 is a dirt road and is impassable when wet. Hike Description: This is a wonderful hike for the avid hiker and backpacker. Accessing Hole-in-the-Wall requires hiking several miles across open plains and lava flows. Hole-inthe-Wall is a 6700 acre kipuka that consists of ponderosa pine parklands and open rangeland surrounded by lava. This is a designated wilderness area and is not accessible by bicycle. Please pack in plenty of water, as there are no reliable water sources in the area. trail is marked with a rock cairn adjacent to the parking area. Length of Hike: Approximately 3 miles to get into Hole-in-the-Wall and as much hiking as you can do from there. Hike Description: The trail is clearly marked with cairn markers and wooden posts. The trail winds among the Chain of Craters and passes through pinon, juniper, ponderosa pine and a variety of shrubs and grasses. This is a very pleasant hike. Pack in plenty of water as there are no reliable sources of water in the area. County road 42 is a dirt road and is impassable when wet, so please keep an eye on the weather. CONTINENTAL DIVIDE NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL: Directions: From SR 53, drive southwest on SR 53 to CR 42. Turn south on CR 42 and drive approximately 5 miles until you reach the trailhead. Parking is available at the trailhead. The trail is marked with a rock cairn across the road from the parking area. From SR 117: Drive south on SR 117 until you reach CR 42. Once on CR 42 it is a 9-mile drive across an open plain to the trailhead. Parking is available at the trailhead and the Length of Hike: Approximately 20 miles from trailhead to trailhead . For more information on the Continental Divide Trail please stop by the BLM Ranger Station on SR 117 . Please practice Leave No Trace camping skills and ethics. Information regarding Leave No Trace is available at the BLM Ranger Station on SR 117. “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” _ Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac For More Information Contact: El Malpais National Conservation Area Bureau of Land Management P.O. Box 846 Grants, New Mexico 87020 (505) 287-7911 www.nm.blm.gov Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center 1900 East Santa Fe Avenue Grants, New Mexico 87020 (505) 876-2783 www.nps.gov/elma BLM/NM/GI-02-011-1220

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