El Malpais National Conservation Area Park
El Malpais National Conservation Area was established in 1987 at the same time as the adjoining El Malpais National Monument. These two areas are managed by different federal agencies. The 263,000-acre El Malpais NCA is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The NCA includes two wilderness areas -- West Malpais and Cebolla -- covering almost 100,000 acres. El Malpais translates to "the badlands" in Spanish and is pronounced Mal-(rhymes with wall)-pie-ees. El Malpais NCA was established to protect nationally significant geological, archaeological, ecological, cultural, scenic, scientific, and wilderness resources surrounding the Grants Lava Flows. In addition to the two wilderness areas, the NCA includes dramatic sandstone cliffs, canyons, La Ventana Natural Arch, the Chain of Craters Back Country Byway and the Narrows Picnic Area where primitive camping is possible. There are many opportunities for photography, hiking, camping and wildlife viewing within this unique NCA. For more than 10,000 years people have interacted with the El Malpais landscape. Historic and prehistoric sites provide connections to past times. More than mere artifacts, these cultural resources are kept alive by the spiritual and physical presence of contemporary Indian groups, including the Puebloan peoples of Acoma, Laguna and Zuni, and the Ramah Navajo. These tribes continue their ancestral uses of El Malpais including gathering plant materials, paying respect, and renewing ties.
Rio Puerco Field Office 435 Montano Road, NE
Albuquerque, NM, 87107
OFF HIGHWAY VEHICLE