El Malpais National Monument

Our first stop on our spring break 2016 trip to Arizona, was actually in New Mexico at El Malpais National Monument.

Since I love volcanoes and I love caves, it is no surprise that I love going in lava tube caves!

We first hiked across the lava fields to get to the caves.

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In order to get the permits to go into the caves we had to assure the park rangers that we had 3 sources of light each. So we had headlamps, flashlights in our pockets, and necklace flashlights.

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Not hard to tell where to go to get to the cave! But a little difficult figuring out how to get there. We had to rock scramble down to get to the opening.

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We were surprised to see snow still there, but it was much cooler the closer you go to the caves.

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Jeb is always a little nervous to go into caves, but he puts on his brave face for me and for the camera!

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Caving selfie!

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Looking back as we were headed into the darkness.

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We went into three different caves while at the park.

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This one had a big skylight at the top, but if you kept going further you reached total cave darkness.

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I always like crawling into the smaller tighter places, and Jeb is always happy to let me go first in these situations!

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In this cave it was much colder, and we even saw stalactite type ice formations.

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In our last cave we went into, there weren’t supposed to be any bats in this one- but we saw tons of them. We were careful not to touch or disturb them, but we couldn’t help but take a picture.

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There was another bat just over the top of the ladder. I have to admit the bats did freak me out quite a bit!

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Though we never would have heard of it if we hadn’t researched parks in New Mexico, we really liked El Malpais National Monument! Also, ask Jeb how to pronounce it… 😉

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