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.


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.


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.


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



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


Caving selfie!


Looking back as we were headed into the darkness.


We went into three different caves while at the park.


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





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


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.


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


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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