Valley of Fires

Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico.

April 19, 2021 update: The Bureau of Land Management Roswell Field Office will close the Valley of Fires Recreation Area from April 12-26 for maintenance and upgrades. The closure includes camping as well as day-use areas. The Malpais Nature Trail and the Valley of Fires Visitor Center will also be closed.

Valley of Fires recreation area is located immediately adjacent to the Malpais Lava Flow. Approximately 5,000 years ago, Little Black Peak erupted and flowed 44 miles into the Tularosa Basin, filling the basin with molten rock. The resulting lava flow is four to six miles wide, 160 feet thick and covers 125 square miles. The lava flow is considered to be one of the youngest lava flows in the continental United States.

From a distance, Valley of Fires appears as barren rock but when you walk through the nature trail there are many varieties of flowers, cactus, trees and bushes typical of the Chihuahuan desert. Animals include bats, roadrunners, quail, cottontails, mule deer, barberry sheep, and lizards. It's also a virtual birdwatcher's paradise with great horned owls, burrowing owls, turkey vultures, hawks, gnat catchers, cactus wrens, sparrows and golden eagles.

Activities and Experiences

Nearby Activities


Directions

Four miles west of the Town of Carrizozo on US 380.

Additional Information

Photo Gallery