Cerro Rendija is a fine shield volcano to make any Hawaiian proud. It sits on the Chain of Craters Road (CR 42) awaiting our morning ascent. The entire hike is off trail and much of the hike is over rugged lava.
Find out what's up with shield volcanos, the immense mid-Cretaceous super plume that still rocks our world with wellth and ilth. And maybe see why some call volcano creator. Discover what a Rendija is, then descend into a secret canyon.
Meet in the parking lot of the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center after 8 AM. There the views are strong, the bathrooms are good looking, and the rangers are above average.
Depart the lot at 8:30 AM sharp! Caravan to the trailhead (those wishing to save on fuel, emissions, & road impact may want to arrange ride sharing). Park at the trailhead by 9:30 AM. Total vertical elevation change is 1000+ feet. Total horizontal distance is 3+ miles round trip in sparse Ponderosa Pine forest. Hike to the summit at 8,000 feet and dine from your pack with a grand 360 view. Watch for animals of all sizes and, if the moonsoons come, rioting flowers of all colors.
Return to the vehicles before 2 PM glowing with foresty feelings.
SURVIVAL 8000 feet means less oxygen, so have your body in fine cardiovascular shape. The secret to a happy hike includes a well hydrated body. Drink water before hand, then carry 3 liters. If the body seeks a privy bush from time to time - good. Pick a hike buddy at the start and let them know of your bush venture.
This is a Moderate hike entirely off trail. Pace is slow to moderate to allow all to ascend the steeper slopes as well as appreciate the treasures we find. Email me if any doubts about physical limitations. Given the remote and rugged nature of the area, please keep me or another radio carrier posted, if you wish to strike out on your own. Bring sturdy footwear, plenty of water, food, and protection from the elements. Hiking poles are nice for the uneven volcanic terrain. Binoculars give a nice view of distal peaks and sneaky birds. One slip on the lava can spoil the skin, so keep it pretty and have cat balance or wear long pants. Gloves are nice for grasping lava handholds on steep terrain, or to soften unexpected lurches. Loose breathable clothing sheds solar heat. Shorts and/or sandals are not recommended due to the the many pricklys, pokeys, & jaggedy lava.
BLM El Malpais NCA hikes are open to all and free of pets, firearms, and intoxicants. (Not recommended for kids under 12 or folks with impaired gait.)
For those who wish to continue their adventure after the hike, the NPS has opened 4 lava tubes to entry by free and easy permitting. We will drive past 2 and end our hike near 2. The BLM part of the hike ends when either you strike out on your own (please tell us) or upon our return to the trailhead. Lava tubes are wondrous and cool places. If you think you might want to cave afterwards, please finish permitting at the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center before 8:20 AM. Check out: