With New Mexico residents once again facing stringent lockdowns with no end in sight, finding ways to recreate safely to maintain sanity becomes paramount.
El Malpais National Monument (nps.gov/elma) south of Grants is a relatively close, wide-open space that lends itself easily to social distancing while providing an expansive exploration opportunity.
“A lot of these national parks tend to funnel people through visitors centers or trailheads,” said Ernie Price, chief of visitor services and interpretation for El Malpais and neighboring El Morro National Monument. “You can enjoy these trails safely if you plan ahead. So maybe this isn’t the time to go the visitor center.”