El Malpais (literally - The Bad Lands) is large area of basalt rock from the lava flows of many volcano eruptions around 3 million years ago. Lava flows fill a rift valley that stretches between the Zuni and Acoma Pueblos. The valley sits between large sandstone bluffs, several hundred feet tall.
Looking out over the valley from the Sandstone Bluffs you can see how the lava flow filled up the entire valley.
|The black areas are the basalt from the lava flow|
|The sandstone forms a sharp contrast to the valley below|
|Mt Taylor - The source of the lava|
|La Ventana from the parking area|
One of the beautiful things about sandstone is the way it erodes due to weather. The formations are amazing