- 36 miles (57 km)
- 90 minutes to drive this route.
Chain of Craters Back Country Byway follows New Mexico Country Road 53. The byway in its entirety passes through the El Malpais National Monument, where you can see volcanic cinder cones. As you drive, you'll see sandstone bluffs to the east as well.
The area is not only beautiful to look upon, it is exciting to explore. Many visitors enjoy the bevy of hiking trails and camping sites that offer a true close-up of the region's natural, volcanically-shaped face.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
El Malpais means badlands, but contrary to its name this unique area holds many surprises, many of which researchers are still unravelling.