Grants, NM 87020
Malpais is located south of Grants, NM, and 80 miles west of Albuquerque. Two state highways provide access to the NCA and Monument, and both are accessed via Interstate 40. Exit 89, east of Grants, will take you along NM Highway 117 which traverses the east side. Exit 81, west of Grants, will take you along NM 53 which travels down the northwestern edge. The Ranger Station is located 9 miles south of exit 89 on Highway 117.
There is a relatively easy walk to the base of the natural arch which is a highlight of the El Malpais NCA (National Conservation Area). Along the short 1/4 mile trail to the base, you will be surrounded by dramatic sandstone cliff formations, pinon and juniper trees along with a variety of shrubs and grasses. At the end of the walk you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of La Ventana, one of New Mexico’s largest natural arches. The trail leading up to the base of the arch is primitive. Please stay on the designated trail in an effort to protect our fragile resources.