"Sandstone Bluffs Overlook" by NPS/Maci MacPherson , public domain

El Malpais

National Monument - New Mexico

El Malpais National Monument is located in western New Mexico. The name El Malpais is from the Spanish term Malpaís, meaning badlands, due to the extremely barren and dramatic volcanic field that covers much of the park's area. It is on the Trails of the Ancients Byway, one of the designated New Mexico Scenic Byways.

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maps

Official visitor map of El Malpais National Monument (NM) in New Mexico. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).El Malpais - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of El Malpais National Monument (NM) in New Mexico. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of Canyons Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Canyons - Wilderness Map

Map of Canyons Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of Chain of Craters Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Chain of Craters - Wilderness Map

Map of Chain of Craters Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Visitor Map of El Malpais National Conservation Area (NCA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).El Malpais - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of El Malpais National Conservation Area (NCA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of El Malpais Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).El Malpais - Wilderness Map

Map of El Malpais Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of West Malpais Wilderness in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).West Malpais - Wilderness Map

Map of West Malpais Wilderness in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Visitor Map of Petaca Pinta Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Petaca Pinta - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of Petaca Pinta Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the Zuni Mountains in the Mount Taylor Ranger District (RD) of Cibola National Forest (NF) in New Mexico. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Cibola MVUM - Mount Taylor - Zuni Mountains 2020

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the Zuni Mountains in the Mount Taylor Ranger District (RD) of Cibola National Forest (NF) in New Mexico. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

https://www.nps.gov/elma/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Morro_National_Monument El Malpais National Monument is located in western New Mexico. The name El Malpais is from the Spanish term Malpaís, meaning badlands, due to the extremely barren and dramatic volcanic field that covers much of the park's area. It is on the Trails of the Ancients Byway, one of the designated New Mexico Scenic Byways. The richly diverse volcanic landscape of El Malpais (el-mal-pie-EES) offers solitude, recreation, and adventure. Explore incredible geologic features such as lava flows, cinder cones, lava tube caves, and sandstone bluffs. While some may see a desolate environment, people have been adapting to and living in this extraordinary terrain for generations. Come discover the land of fire and ice! No roads exist through El Malpais National Monument. To explore the east side of the park, take exit 89 off I-40 and head south on Highway 117. To explore the north side of the park, take exit 81 off I-40 and head south on Highway 53. To reach the visitor center, take exit 85 off I-40 in Grants, New Mexico. After you exit, head south on Santa Fe Ave and continue straight over the freeway overpass. Take a left at the entrance sign for El Malpais Visitor Center and continue 300 yards to the parking lot. El Malpais Visitor Center Located on exit 85 off I-40 in Grants, NM, the El Malpais Visitor Center is staffed by park rangers from the National Park Service. Stop in for maps, information, orientation, cave permits, a Western National Parks Association bookstore, museum exhibits, and park movies. Take Exit 85 off I-40 in Grants, NM. If coming from the east, turn left at the stop sign, and proceed across the freeway overpass. If coming from the west, turn right at the stop sign. Turn left at the entrance sign to the El Malpais Visitor Center. Continue 300 yards to the parking area. Sandstone Bluffs Overlook Yellow sandstone cliff at sunset with dark lava field in background Sandstone Bluffs Overlook offers a beautiful view over the vast volcanic landscape of El Malpais. Wildflowers on the El Calderon Trail Hiking in Summer Enjoy a stroll along the El Calderon Trail to view beautiful wildflowers in summer. Sandstone Bluffs Overlook Summer at Sandstone Bluffs Overlook A vast expanse of lava fields as seen from Sandstone Bluffs Overlook View from El Calderon Summer view from El Calderon cinder cone A hike to the top of El Calderon cinder cone offers one a view of the entire monument. Lava Tube Cave Lava Tube caving at El Malpais Explore lava tube caving at El Malpais National Monument Maintaining a Fire Resilient Landscape at El Malpais National Monument Firefighters protected private property while allowing the Lava 18 Fire to play its natural role on public lands. The lightning-ignited fire was reported on August 22, 2019. It was located approximately 19 miles southwest of Grants, NM. The Lava 18 Fire eventually grew to approximately 2,070 acres (858 ac on the National Park Service (NPS) El Malpais National Monument and 1,212 acres on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) El Malpais National Conservation area). Agencies Gather for Wildfire Prevention Day El Malpais fire team members joined with local and area fire crews to present a community outreach event on March 30, 2013 to kick off Wildfire Prevention Week in New Mexico. The local government and fire department and the USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management collaborated to educate the public about fire–adapted human communities. World War II Plane Crashes in National Parks During WWII, more than 7,100 air crashes involved US Army Air Force (USAAF) aircraft occurred on American soil. Collectively these crashes resulted in the loss of more than 15,599 lives (Mireles 2006). Many of these military aircraft accidents occurred in remote, often mountainous, areas managed by the National Park Service. plane crash at base of grassy hill The Colorado Plateau The Colorado Plateau is centered on the four corners area of the Southwest, and includes much of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Hazy Fajada Butte, Chaco Culture National Monument Wildland Fire in Douglas Fir: Western United States Douglas fir is widely distributed throughout the western United States, as well as southern British Columbia and northern Mexico. Douglas fir is able to survive without fire, its abundantly-produced seeds are lightweight and winged, allowing the wind to carry them to new locations where seedlings can be established. Close-up of Douglas fir bark and needles. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. [Site Under Development] view from rock outcrop into lower basin Monitoring Night Skies and Natural Soundscapes on the Southern Colorado Plateau Many national parks in the Southern Colorado Plateau region contain large areas of wilderness, where dark night skies and natural soundscapes are important human values. Dark night skies, which depend upon the visibility of stars and other natural components, are diminishing resources in several park units because of anthropogenic activities. Natural soundscapes—that is, the natural sounds of wildlands—are degraded by sounds caused by humans or human technology. Clouds and sky turning red and orange over Navajo National Monument at sunset Wildland Fire in Ponderosa Pine: Western United States This forest community generally exists in areas with annual rainfall of 25 inches or less. Extensive pure stands of this forest type are found in the southwestern U.S., central Washington and Oregon, southern Idaho and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Recently burned ponderosa pine forest. Southern Colorado Plateau Bird Inventories Birds are considered to be good indicators of environmental change. Inventories of bird populations not only provide valuable information that can help manage bird populations, but can also be helpful in managing other resources as well. Yellow-rumped warbler Vegetation Characterization and Mapping on the Southern Colorado Plateau Vegetation mapping is a tool used by botanists, ecologists, and land managers to better understand the abundance, diversity, and distribution of different vegetation types across a landscape. Vegetation plots used for the classification and mapping of El Malpais NM Climate Change on the Southern Colorado Plateau The combination of high. elevation and a semi-arid climate makes the Colorado Plateau particularly vulnerable to climate change. Climate models predict that over the next 100 years, the Southwest will become warmer and even more arid, with more extreme droughts than the region has experienced in the recent past. One result of climate change may be more, larger floods, like this flash flood in Glen Canyon NRA El Malpais Fire Managers Successfully Manage the Thirty Six Fire for Multiple Objectives By successfully managing the lightning started Thirty Six Fire, fire managers at El Malpais National Monument now have a toe hold in the area with reduced ground fuels that can be utilized when there is a fire in the area that is not meeting resource objectives or that may threaten the community in the area. Firefighter walks along the fireline, using a handheld driptorch to conduct a burnout operation. Big Tubes Prescribed Burn The approximately 1,000 ac Big Tubes Prescribed Burn was completed at El Malpais National Monument. May 11-12, 2016. The primary objective of this prescribed burn was to improve the grassland and forest health and reduce the amount of excessive fuel build-up. Fire is a natural part of the El Malpais ecosystem and reducing fuel build-up helps ensure the resiliency of fire dependent ecosystems. Firefighter with a drip torch Southern Colorado Plateau Mammal Inventories Mammal inventories help to close the gap in our knowledge and understanding of some taxonomic groups on the Colorado Plateau. Coyote (Canis latrans) Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display at a visitor center Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Defining the Southwest The Southwest has a special place in the American imagination – one filled with canyon lands, cacti, roadrunners, perpetual desert heat, a glaring sun, and the unfolding of history in places like Tombstone and Santa Fe. In the American mind, the Southwest is a place without boundaries – a land with its own style and its own pace – a land that ultimately defies a single definition. Maize agriculture is one component of a general cultural definition of the Southwest. Quaternary Period—2.58 MYA to Today Massive ice sheets advanced and retreated across North America during much of the Quaternary, carving landscapes in many parks. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve contains geologic evidence of lower sea level during glacial periods, facilitating the prehistoric peopling of the Americas. The youngest rocks in the NPS include the lava of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the travertine at Yellowstone National Park, which can be just a few hours old. fossil bone bed and murals of mammoths Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display in a visitor center National Park Getaway: El Malpais National Monument El Malpais National Monument is a primeval volcanic landscape sculpted by a series of eruptions over the past 60,000 years and as recently as 1,200 years ago. These eruptions created a fantastic geologic wonderland of cinder cone volcanoes, lava tube caves, and some of the longest and youngest basaltic lava flows on the continent. Sunset over lava flows in a high desert Plan Like a Park Ranger for El Malpais After a bit of planning, your visit to El Malpais National Monument is sure to be a memorable one! A park ranger smiles as she looks as a nearby ridge of jagged, black lava rock. Strombolian Eruptions Stombolian eruptions look like volcanic firework displays. Explosions eject glowing volcanic bombs into the air that then fall around the crater. volcanic eruption with glowing lava seen at night Volcanic Craters Craters are present at many volcanic vents. The size and shape of volcanic craters vary a great deal from volcano to volcano, and they even change during the lifespan of an active volcano. Craters can become filled by lava domes or lava flows, and new craters may form during subsequent eruptions. cinder cone crater Find Your Park on Route 66 Route 66 and the National Park Service have always had an important historical connection. Route 66 was known as the great road west and after World War II families on vacation took to the road in great numbers to visit the many National Park Service sites in the Southwest and beyond. That connection remains very alive and present today. Take a trip down Route 66 and Find Your Park today! A paved road with fields in the distance. On the road is a white Oklahoma Route 66 emblem. Lava Flow Crochet Pillow A crochet pattern to create a personal-sized lava flow pillow! Magmatic Eruptions Magmatic eruptions include fresh lava or tephra from a magma source. Magmatic eruptions range from quiet effusions of lava to extremely explosive eruptions that can blow apart mountains and send ash clouds around the globe. volcanic eruption with glowing lava seen at night Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background Lava Tree Mold Fossils Tree mold impressions are trace fossils that develop within lava flows. tree mold fossil appears as a round hole in lava rock with still glowing lava and wood embers inside Volcanic Resources Summary—El Malpais National Monument [Site Under Development] aerial photo of a cinder cone volcano with a large summit crater Shield Volcanoes Shield volcanoes are typically very large volcanoes with very gentle slopes made up of basaltic lava flows. Mauna Loa and Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are shield volcanoes. diagram of a shield volcano with lava features Cinder Cones Cinder cones are typically simple volcanoes that consist of accumulations of ash and cinders around a vent. Sunset Crater Volcano and Capulin Volcano are cinder cones. photo of a dry grassy field with a cinder cone in the distance Series: Volcanic Features Volcanoes vary greatly in size and shape. Volcanoes also may have a variety of other features, which in turn, have a great range in diversity of form, size, shape, and permanence. Many volcanoes have craters at their summits and/or at the location of other vents. Some craters contain water lakes. Lakes of molten or solidified lava may exist on some volcanoes. Fumaroles and other geothermal features are a product of heat from magma reservoirs and volcanic gases. photo of a lava lake in a summit crater Water Resources on the Colorado Plateau Describes the origin, uses, threats to, and conservation of water on the Colorado Plateau. Dark green body of water winding through red rock formations with brilliant sun overhead. Series: Volcano Types Volcanoes vary in size from small cinder cones that stand only a few hundred feet tall to the most massive mountains on earth. photo of a volcanic mountain with snow and ice Monogenetic Volcanic Fields Monogenetic volcanic fields are areas covered by volcanic rocks where each of the volcanic vents typically only erupt once. Monogenetic volcanic fields typically contain cinder cones, fissure volcanoes, and/or maars and tuff rings. They also usually encompass large areas covered by basaltic lava flows. oblique aerial photo of a lava flow that extended into a body of water Fissure Volcanoes Fissure volcanoes erupt from elongated vents (fissures) rather than a central vent. The lava flows in Craters of the Moon National Monument were erupted from fissures. aerial photo of a line of volcanic cones and lava flows Series: Volcanic Eruption Styles Categories in this traditional classification are based on the eruption styles of particular volcanoes. These magmatic eruption styles are listed in the order of increasing explosivity. volcanic eruption with glowing lava Kīpukas Kipuka are pockets of older land surfaces surrounded by younger lava flows. Kipukas are often stand out as more vegetated areas and may be older lavas or other bedrocks and surface deposits. aerial photo of a kipuka with trees surrounded by fresh lava flows Volcanic Ash, Tephra Fall, and Fallout Deposits Volcanic ash, pumice, and tephra ejected in volcanic eruptions ultimately falls back to Earth where it covers the ground. These deposits may be the thin dustings or may be many tens of feet (meters) thick near an eruptive vent. Volcanic ash and tephra can present geohazards that are present great distances from the erupting volcano. photo of a bluff with exposed fine-grained volcanic ash and pumice. Inflation Structures, Lava-Rise Plateaus & Inflation Pits At least five units of the National Park System contain inflation structures such as lava-rise plateaus and inflation pits. Inflation is the process that occurs when lava continues to be supplied within a solidified crust of a basaltic lava flow, causing the flow surface to be lifted upward. Inflation can cause lava flows to substantially thicken and create other features such as tumuli, inflation pits, and inflation clefts to form. photo of volcanic landscape covered with broken lava rock

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