El Mal Pais
Grants Travel Blog› entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
Due to our late start we drove straight through deciding to take a break in New Mexico. I've been to New Mexico twice before and remember I loved the state. There is so much open beauty in the southwest its a whole other world. We chose El Mal Pais National Monument for our stop (actually about 72 miles west of Albuquerque), the road map we had showed it looking like a good place to stretch our legs. So that's exactly what we did. The park was amazing. It encompasses a huge area with a few short hiking trails and breathtaking views. The sight in El Mal Pais is a huge lava flow that was actively flowing about 115,000 years ago. The geography of the area with lava tubes that have formed in the rocks makes this an excellent stop for us along our trip and get a good view of what the southwest has to offer.
We were slightly limited with time. We had to get to Prescott, Arizona by 10:00 when Kurt's girlfriend would get off of work. That, and the lighting and rain storm that was coming. Were at the highest elevation for miles at some points, probably not a good spot for the storm. We did leave the interstate for some scenic roads through Arizona and New Mexico that made for great scenery but also made us aware if the car had any trouble, we would not be able to get help for another 60-100 miles in some parts. Good thing our car was a champ. And we even got into Prescott a little early, of course after about a 32 hour drive one beer knocked us out! Good thing it was not my turn to drive.