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BLM El Malpais NCA - Volcan Cerro Rendija

Geologic Feature
View from the summit looking northeast towards another volcano, Mt. Taylor

If you have seen a Hawaiian shield volcano, then this will be familiar. The summit is 500 feet above the surrounding area. There is a large "rendija" –crack– running north-south for over a mile from its southern base to the summit. Within the crack is a slightly more shaded forest of Ponderosa Pine, Pinyon, and Juniper. There are steep lava walls and lush summer grasses and flowers. There are no marked trails, so use your compass and topographic map or satellite photo; or use a GPS.

Recreational Opportunities

Hiking, Wildlife Viewing, Forest, Grand Vistas, Volcanology


Seasons Accessible

There are no formal trails. Three to four-season access is limited by impassible roads in sustained rain or snow. From State Road 53 go south approximately 5 miles on The Chain of Craters Byway, County Road 42. Turn East onto the Big Tubes road (300). Drive east approximately 1 1/4 mile. The summit is visible to the south, and is a fairly steep hike of approximately 1 1/2 mile. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are limited to designated roads.