"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.

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 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).

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 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).

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).

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 Summer at Sandstone Bluffs Overlook A vast expanse of lava fields as seen from Sandstone Bluffs Overlook Snowy Landscape Snow on the El Calderon Trail Winter exploration allows one to discover the quiet beauty of El Malpais 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. Wildflowers on the El Calderon Trail Hiking in Summer Enjoy a stroll along the El Calderon Trail to view beautiful wildflowers in summer. 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.
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior El Malpais National Monument David Hays 2012 Hiking the Big Tubes Area The Big Tubes Area offers first hand exploration of a rugged volcanic landscape. A lava wall, lava bridges, collapses, and lava tube caves can be seen in this harsh land of beauty and mystery. Exploring the Big Tubes Area To get to the Big Tubes Area, take County Road 42 to the Big Tubes Road (NPS Road #300) and travel 4.5 miles to the parking area. Although normally accessible in a passenger car, these roads can be impassable during wet weather, even in four-wheeldrive vehicles. Please check road conditions before venturing to this area. From the parking area, a cairn-marked route leads you over a portion of the Bandera Lava Flow. These rock cairns can be difficult to see. Be sure to keep the cairn route in sight at all times. Allow yourself plenty of daylight to enjoy your exploration. The surface trail is approximately 2 miles. If you hike the whole trail, plan on spending at least 4 hours. Cave Permits Safety • Tell someone when you will return. • Know your limits: At 7500’ (2300 m) the area can be very hot & dry or cold & wet. • Footing can be difficult and lava is sharp. Equipment • Plenty of water and a snack • Sturdy hiking shoes; no sandals! • Hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen • Rugged GPS handheld device • First aid kit GPS Coordinates Know how to use your GPS unit before you begin this hike, as the trail can be difficult to follow and your GPS may save your life. From the trail, the parking area is to the west towards the low rise of Cerro Rendija. Parking Area Latitude 34° 56’ 40.5”N Longitude 108° 6’ 24.8”W Sign Junction (see map) Latitude 34° 56’ 42.6”N Longitude 108° 6’ 5.6”W Several caves in the Big Tubes Area can be explored if you have a caving permit, available for free at the El Malpais Information Center, approximately 23 miles southwest of Grants on NM Highway 53; or at the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center, 1900 E Santa Fe Ave in Grants. Caves may be closed seasonally or yearround if they are hazardous, contain delicate rock formations, or house colonies of bats. Before you go caving, you must first talk with a ranger for the latest caving information and a free caving permit. Trail Map va Ca Coterp lla illa ps r e La Trench Wilderness To County Rd. 42 & Highway 53 Lava Tr en ch d. es R 0) Tub Big Rd. #30 (NPS Flo w Si Cro gn ss Ju ing nc Su tio rfa ce n Tu be Douglas Firs La va Tr en ch N Bandera Crater & Lava Flow ge id Br Bi va Wilderness Cairns may be difficult to find. Do not leave one cairn until you see the next. Four Windows Junction La *5 Rock cairn Giant Ice Cave Big Skylight Cave A’ a Caution g Tu As be pe s T r n Tr ailh ee ea s d ! 0.5 Miles Approximately 10,000 years ago, magma broke through the Earth’s crust just a few miles north of the Big Tubes Area. Under great pressure, the liquid rock burst into the air to form a lava fountain sometimes hundreds of feet high. Some of the lava cooled and separated in the air, falling to the ground as cinders which accumulated and built Bandera Crater. Hot, fluid lava flowed from the base of this loosely structured cinder cone in a series of flows that lasted for several years. Confined by channels of older lava, these “lava rivers” flowed to the south and east, skirting the Seven Bridges Overlook southern edge of the Zuni Mountains before spreading out over the large basin south of Grants, New Mexico. As the outer layer of the lava flows cooled and hardened, it insulated the fluid lava flowing within. Eventually, the lava ceased flowing, with the hot fluid lava emptying downhill and leaving behind vast lava tube caves. The result of this process is a seventeen-mile-long lava tube system, one of the longest in the Continental United States. The lava tube caves and collapses in the Big Tubes Area are part of this system. Wilderness Most of El Malpais National Monument has been proposed for wilderness designation. Lack of developement in this primitive environment provides a remote, quiet, and awe-inspiring wilderness experience. You can help maintain this area by understanding wilderness “Leave No Trace” ethics. Leave No Trace • Pack out everything you pack in. • Leave all natural, cultural and historical objects as you find them. • Tread lightly and leave no trace of your visit; pick up any trash you find. • Respect wildlife and never feed animals. More Information Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center 1900 E Santa Fe Ave Grants, New Mexico, 87020 505 783-4774 or 505-876-2783 www.nps.gov/elma EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA™
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior El Malpais National Monument 1900 E Santa Fe Avenue Grants, NM 87020 505 876-2783 Notes: EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA 4/2015 National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior El Malpais National Monument www.nps.gov/elma El Calderon Area Trail Guide El Calderon Area Hiking and backcountry exploring can be found in the El Calderon Area. The El Calderon Area is located 20 miles south of Grants on NM 53 and is generally accessible year round. To protect the fragile resources of the El Malpais National Monument please stay on the trail. For more information, call the NW New Mexico Visitor Center at 505876-2783. The Visitor Center is open from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. daily with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Loop Distance: 3.8 Miles North Suggested Hiking Route Dirt Road Dirt Footpath El Calderon Trail Guide Exploring El Calderon From the winding trenches that were once glowing rivers of lava, to the sloping hills of a long quiet volcano, you can imagine the forces that created this area. Where else, but at a volcano, can you see what created the rocks beneath your feet? This is where geology comes to life. The El Calderon Area offers diverse exploring opportunities. A gravel and dirt surface route winds past volcanic features on an easy to moderate 3.8 mile hiking loop. The primitive road leading west from the parking lot is accessible to high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles. Backcountry camping is also allowed off this primitive road. dreds of feet into the air creating the cone you see today. Rivers of molten rock created lava trenches and lava tubes. Since then, the changes have been less dramatic. A combination of vegetation and erosion slowly break down lava into smaller particles. Eventually, the area is transformed from a blackened landscape to the forested land you see today. Be adequately prepared for whatever adventure you choose so that your memories of El Calderon are good ones. As you explore the El Calderon Area, try to imagine not only what the area may have looked like 115,000 years ago, but also what it may look like 115,000 years in the future.  Tell someone where you are going  Carry plenty of water  Wear sturdy hiking shoes  Be aware of changing weather conditions  Comply with cave closures Geology in Motion The processes of geology are usually so slow that they cannot be measured in a human lifetime. Occasionally, we can see the effects of erosion or other processes after a good rain, or high spring winds, but this is usually the exception. However, there are some events that happen so quickly, their effects can be seen immediately. Volcanic eruptions are one of these events. Signs of Life The seasons bring an ever changing array of life to the El Calderon Area. In the spring, look for piñon jays and the occasional snake or lizard basking in the sun. Summer brings warmer temperatures along with several species of bats that can be seen flying from Bat Cave. As summer progresses, wildflowers blanket the ground. Fall is a good time to spot deer, elk and other animals foraging for food. During winter, prints from coyotes, bobcats, rabbits and other animals are easy to spot on freshly fallen snow. Remember to never feed or pet wild animals. It is not only dangerous for you, but also for the animals. Let wildlife be wild. In 1943 near Paricutin, Mexico, a farmer noticed a crack in one of his fields sending out gas and ash. Less than ten years later a cinder cone 1,200 feet high towered over the field. El Calderon Cinder Cone would have had a similar beginning when it was formed about 115,000 years ago. A vent shot cinders hun- © 1999 Zackery Zdinak National Park Service Researcher taking soil samples in a lava tube 1 Junction Cave Junction Cave is a lava tube created by the lava flows from nearby El Calderon Cinder Cone. At 115,000 years old, this is one of the oldest lava tubes in the monument. A Living Laboratory. In a 1995 study of caves in El Malpais, Junction Cave had more cave-adapted species than any other cave surveyed at that time. Most of the life in this cave is small to microscopic and lives in dark corners, under rocks and in deep cracks. Scientists divide the life found in caves into four categories: accidentals, trogloxenes, troglophiles and troglobites. Accidentals can be anything from moths to animals that find their way into a cave. The other types of cave life generally show some type of adaptation that allows them to use or live in the cave. Trogloxenes typically live above ground and do not depend on the cave for survival. Bats and mice are good examples of trogloxenes. Troglophiles may live their entire lives in the cave, but are not fully adapted to the cave environment. Some spiders and beetles are El Calderon Trail Guide © 2011 Kenneth Ingham examples of troglophiles. Troglobites live their entire life in the cave and are completely dependent on the c
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior El Malpais National Monument 1900 East Santa Fe Avenue Grants, NM 87020 505-876-2783 Notes: EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA 6/2015 National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior El Malpais National Monument www.nps.gov/elma Lava Falls Trail Guide Lava Falls Area The cairn marked route at the Lava Falls Area offers exploration of the youngest lava flow at El Malpais National Monument. The Lava Falls Area is located 36 miles south of Interstate 40 on NM 117. Please check at the Visitor Center for road and trail conditions. For more information, call a park ranger at theVisitor Center at 505-8762783. The Visitor Center is open daily with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. 5 3 4 6 2 1 7 9 8 Lava Falls Trail Guide Exploring Lava Falls Here, the earth is new. Flowing up from underground just 3000 years ago, the lava was a dynamic force~swirling, growing, collapsing and flowing its way into position before growing cold and resting in its final form. The course that the lava took remains here for us to ponder and explore. The Lava Falls Area lies on the youngest of the lava flows at El Malpais National Monument. McCartys Crater was active around 3000 years ago and probably erupted several times over the course of many years. The cairn marked route leads you onto the pahoehoe lava of the McCartys flow. In-depth exploration of lava flow features is available on this easy to moderate one-mile loop route. Please be adequately prepared so that your memories of Lava Falls are good ones. Exploring Lava Falls Finding Your Way Piles of rocks, called rock cairns, mark the route on this one-mile loop hike. Cairns are the most obvious way to mark routes across the lava flows and have been used for centuries to mark pathways across this land. Be sure to not leave one cairn until the next is in sight. Do not add to existing cairns or build new cairns. Maintenance to the cairns is done on a regular basis by National Park Service employees. Building new cairns off the intended route may cause other visitors to become disoriented and even lost.  Carry plenty of water  Wear sturdy hiking shoes 1 A Sense of Wonder This is a wondrous landscape and even volcanologists are prone to asking, “I wonder what happened here?” What was going on to make the lava dip over here and swell over there? Why is the lava so smooth here and so rough there? While some of these questions can be answered, some cannot. Use the information in this guide to help you understand the volcanic forces that created this area, but do not become bound by it. Stop and look closely at the rock; peer into cracks and crevices; ponder seemingly impossible formations. Let your own sense of wonder be your guide to this landscape. At the same time, do not let your sense of wonder overtake your sense of safety. Pay attention to your surroundings and know your limitations. Rock cairns mark the way on this and many other routes at El Malpais. Although most of the cairns on this route are quite large, they can blend into the surrounding landscape and be difficult to see. National Park Service Basalt and its associated flow top features Basalt: The most common type of volcanic rock. Appearance: Can be gray, black or reddish brown. Vesicles, or holes, were formed by escaping gas. Basalt at El Malpais can be smooth and ropy, called pahoehoe (pa-hoy-hoy), or rough and broken, called a’a (ah-ah). Basalt can take on many forms as seen below.  Xenoliths: Fragments of the Earth’s mantle that were brought to the surface by fast-rising magma and encased as the lava cooled; means “foreign rock.” Lava Toes: These small lobes of lava are common along the edges of pahoehoe flows. They are formed when hot lava breaks out of semi-hardened lava. Ropy Pahoehoe: Pahoehoe is a Hawaiian term for relatively smooth lava. Ropy texture is common on pahoehoe flows.  Lava Falls Trail Guide Tachylite: A glassy-textured basalt. Here, the tachylite can be seen as a thin crust. Part of the crust has broken away, exposing the basalt beneath it. Basalt and its associated flow top features Pressure ridge: Ridges of lava formed by lateral pressures; almost always has a large crack running down the crest. Squeeze-up: Small mounds or ridges of lava that have resulted from the extrusion of lava through a crack in the solidified crust. 2 Lava All Around From the air, large scale features of lava flows are visible. Collapses, cinder cones and miles of black rock tell the story of how lava flowed from a volcano and covered the land. From the ground, an entirely new dimension to the flows appears. Cracks, ripples and bubbles tell a more intricate story. When lava spilled out of McCartys crater, it did not just settle over the ground in a smooth, even layer. It was a dynamic force that took on distinctive features as it flowed over the land. Pressure ridges collided and cracked; collapses sunk into empty c
El Malpais National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior El Malpais National Monument Caving Underneath the lava flows of El Malpais lie a hidden world of lava tube caves. With a free caving permit and proper equipment, you can explore fascinating geology and hidden ice formations. Caving Permits Cave Safely Cave Softly Permits are required and available at the El Malpais Visitor Center, Information Center (seasonally), and the El Morro Visitor Center. Permits are free, and visitors must speak with a park ranger about cave safety, conservation information, and their level of caving experience. Cave permits are only valid for indicated times and specific caves. Talk with a park ranger and visit the park website to learn more: www.nps.gov/elma Don’t Go Alone - Group exploration makes caving safer. Keep together, warn others about hazards or fragile formations, and always tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Lots of Lights - Each caver should carry three light sources and extra batteries. Prevent Exposure & Injury - Dress appropriately for caves. Ambient temperatures in most caves is around 42 degrees (6 degrees celsius) year-round, some are colder. Wear long sleeves, long pants, boots, and gloves. Cave ceilings are sharp, use helmets to protect yourself. Know Your Limits - Injuries and disorientation are more common when you are tired. Always choose a cave that is easy enough for the least experienced member of your group. Caves are not safe for small children and service animals due to the rugged nature of the terrain. Leave No Trace - Do not eat, drink, smoke, litter, or leave human waste inside caves. Many cave formations are delicate and can easily break - do not touch them. Cultural Artifacts - Do not touch or disturb cultural artifacts such as pottery, arrowheads, or animal bones. Respect Bats - Observe closures to protect bats while they are hibernating or raising EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA™ Be Observant - Pay attention to your route and remember junctions and landmarks. their young. If you do see a bat, stop talking, keep your light pointed away, leave the area as quietly as possible, and report the sighting to a ranger. This will help protect these important animals. Prohibited - Campfires, smoking, camping, pets, and candles are not allowed in caves. These activites along with vandalism, including marking or defacing cave features, is illegal and punishable by law. Bats & White-Nose Syndrome At least 14 bat species are found in the monument. Many depend on lava tubes for shelter, reproduction, or hibernation. Bat Cave is home to a summer colony of ~ 40,000 Brazilian free-tailed bats, the only colony of its kind for hundreds of miles. Bats are a critical part of our environment and provide great economic benefits. Many eat insects, including agricultural pests, saving American farmers millions of dollars in pesticides and crop damage annually. Fruit-eating bats pollinate the plants that provide us with cashews, bananas, coconuts, avocados, or tequila. a disease known as White-Nose Syndrome that has killed over 6 million bats in the U.S. and Canada. To prevent the spread of this disease, all visitors requesting cave permits are screened for factors that make them a high risk for introducing the disease from their footwear or equipment. To learn more about bats, visit a Western National Parks Association park store at a visitor center, or visit Bat Conservation International’s website: www.BatCon.org Bats are in peril from a European fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans that causes EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA™ August 2015

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