Daily Archives: May 23, 2016

El Malpais – Chain of Craters National Back County Byway May 16, 2016

We decided to take the Chain of Craters National Scenic Byway through El Malpais National Conservation Area. 


This part of New Mexico had a series of volcanoes emerge as recently as 1,000 years ago. They created a chain of volcanic craters and sometimes vast fields of lava. You can see the series of volcanic mounds along the horizon.


Much of the first part of the drive was rolling hills and occasional small piles of volcanic rocks. We followed the main Byway through pasturelands and increasingly bigger hills and more trees. 

We passed by a fenced in old homestead and decided to stop. 


We passed an prescribed burn area where some of the brush had been burned. This was followed by some relatively recent volcanic lava beds. We stopped briefly to take a look.


We didn’t visit the main part of the park since we saw similar lava beds at Craters of the Moon National Park in Idaho and Valley of Fires National Recreation Area near Carrizozo, New Mexico relatively recently and wanted to visit El Morro National Monument this afternoon.

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