Ranger Kim from El Malpais National Monument offers us this event:
DATE: Saturday August 3rd.
TIME: 9:00 am
PLACE: (You may want to carpool from ABQ.) Meet at El Malpais National Monument’s Information Center, located 23 miles south of Grants on Highway 53 (exit 81). About 2 hours from ABQ.
EVENT: Trail work and guided lava tube caving tour. Come out and visit New Mexico’s Land of Fire and Ice. El Malpais National Monument is home to over 20 volcanoes, including the El Calderon cinder cone, which erupted 115,000 years ago. A 3 mile loop trail leads to the ancient volcano. The monument needs volunteers to help with surface improvements to the existing trail, adding a small portion of new trail, and converting an historic roadway that will link up with the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). All tools and work equipment will be provided. We will work from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, eat lunch, and then begin our guided, 1 hour tour of Junction Cave. Inside the lava tube, please be prepared to encounter loose, uneven terrain and scramble over large rocks. The cave tour will end by 4:00 pm. Free camping is also available for those who wish to continue to explore the El Malpais monument, or visit the nearby Ice Caves and Bandera Crater attraction on Sunday.
BRING: Work gloves, lunch, snacks, and at least a gallon of water. Wear sturdy hiking shoes. For the cave tour, a sweater, long-sleeved shirt and long pants are recommended for the underground temperatures. Please have 2 sources of light AND back-up batteries. A headlamp and flashlight are ideal. Also bring a helmet if you have one. A bike helmet will suffice, though caving bump-hats are now on sale at the El Malpais Information Center for $8.00 each.
LIMIT: 20 people, please. RSVP soon. (Since this is popular, I've created another event for Sunday August 11th, and there are still a few spaces left for that!)
CONTACT: Kim Score at[masked] x28 with questions. Additional caving permits are available for 3 other public caves. Please check out the El Malpais NM website: http://www.nps.gov/elma/index.htm