El Malpais National Monument was dedicated as a national monument on December 31, 1987, and is managed by the National Park Service. These protected lands encompass a total area of 114,277 acres that is in the high desert lands south of Grants, Cibola County and in the state of New Mexico. Two major state highways border the protected property, and both of these roads are accessed through interstate 40.
Once visitors get to the park, they will find that there are a lot of unique features to explore. First, the place is rich in history because the ancient Navajo and Pueblo Indians have their history attached to these lands. Secondly, the protected lands have a diverse ecosystem and interesting geology as well.
For example, there is a spectacular volcanic area that features a 17-mile-long lava tube system, cinder cones, and ice caves. In fact, all these features give the El Malpais National Monument the name El Malpais, which means ‘the badlands’ in Spanish. Third, the national monument also has diverse plant and animal species.
Notably, the El Malpais is the home to one of the oldest Douglas Fir trees on the planet including a subspecies of the tree called the Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir which can be found living on the protected land. Besides these attractions, the national park also hosts a lot of recreational activities including hiking, auto touring, and interpretive programs, and camping.
Some of the resources in the El Malpais National Monument to facilitate these activities include a visitor center, and self-guided tour/trails. Dogs are definitely allowed into El Malpais National Monument, but as with other parks in the country, some restrictions are designed to protect the park's facilities.
A few of the regulations regarding dogs include ensuring that dogs are under the immediate care of their owner and ensuring that dogs are always well-behaved. Also, dog owners should be aware of areas of the El Malpais National Monument that they cannot access when they are with their dog.