Valley of Fires Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Valley of Fires Recreation Area

New Mexico

(575) 648-2241

Map Directions

Things To Do



Imagine exploring one of the youngest lava flows in the continental United States. Around 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 Valley of Fires Recreation Area may appear as barren rock, but as you hike around this unique area, located immediately adjacent to the Malpais Lava Flow, you will find many varieties of flowers, cactus, trees and bushes typical of the Chihuahuan desert. A wide variety of animals to observe include: bats, roadrunners, quail, cottontails, mule deer, barberry sheep, and lizards. This site is also a virtual birdwatcher's paradise with great horned owls, burrowing owls, buzzards, hawks, gnat catchers, cactus wrens, sparrows and golden eagles.

The Valley of Fires has a visitor center where you may purchase gifts, travel guides, books about the geology and history of the area, and plant and animal identification manuals to accompany you on a your hike through the lava flow.

Map of Valley of Fires Rec. Area

Latitude, Longitude: 33.686353, -105.920734



  • Camping

    The recreation area has 19 campsites with picnic shelters, tables, grills, and potable water at each site. RV electric hookups are available at 14 sites. Two sites are wheel chair accessible. The full facility bathroom is fully accessible and has showers. Vault toilets are available throughout the park.

  • Hiking

    The fully accessible Malpais Nature Trail starts at the group shelter, leading the visitor into the lava flow. The paved trail has a guide brochure and interpretive displays.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking is available at this site.



The Valley of Fires lava fields are reached by driving 4 miles northwest along US 380 from the junction with US 54 at Carrizozo.

Phone Numbers


(575) 648-2241