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El Malpais National Monument and Conservation Area Scenic Highway Road Trip

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35.3 miles: 0 hours, 37 minutes
After El Malpais Ranger Station (El Malpais means “the bad lands”), take a short detour on Sandstone Bluffs Road for a vista view. Next, see the La Ventana Natural Arch; it’s visible from the road, but the short hike is worth it for a closer look. Take South Narrows Road for a bird's-eye shot of Grants Lava Flows—creations of volcanic activity 3,000 years old.
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35.3 miles: 0 hours, 37 minutes
Movie location scouts who haven’t discovered El Malpais National Monument and drive along SR 117 in New Mexico are missing a jewel: with intricately carved black lava flows and caves, towering, layered, 200-year-old sandstone bluffs, and wide-open stretches of green prairie land all in one place, it’s like an encyclopedia of geology.