Valley of Fires

Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico.

Update: The Valley of Fires Recreation Area will be closed Oct. 19 -30 for maintenance of parking areas and access roads. To ensure public safety, the area will be closed including all camping and day use, as well as access to the Malpais Nature Trail.

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.

Nearby Activities


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

Additional Information

Photo Gallery