Conveniently located on Highway 117 just off Interstate 40 near Grants are three attractions worth a stop. You can easily spend a day or two exploring these areas. Be sure to stop at the El Malpais Ranger Station for maps and information.
The Chain of Craters, which I’d visited a few days earlier, is denoted on the left as Cerros (mountains in spanish).
Walking on this flat sandstone mesa is a pleasant contrast to the lava rock terrain I’d experienced on the Zumi-Acoma Trail.
THE Narrows or Narrows Rim Trail
I enjoyed the topography of the lava flow and seeing the Chain of Craters cinder cones from a different perspective.
This is called The Narrows as the lava flow stopped just short of this 3-mile long, 500-foot high escarpment, leaving a narrow corridor which naturally became a path of travel. You can see the road below the rocks in this photo.
La Ventana Arch
This view is via a short trail along Highway 117. You can also begin or end your hike on the mesa of The Narrows Trail where a much different perspective of the arch is afforded. Without a second vehicle I didn’t have sufficient time to complete this as an out and back hike.
Date(s) Hiked: March 9, 2016
Road Trip Day(s) #19 out of 88