Valley of Fires Recreation Area
Valley of Fires is located 4 miles west of Carrizozo, New Mexico adjacent to the spectacular El Malpais Lava Flow. About 5,000 years ago Little Black Peak erupted and filled part of the Tularosa Valley with molten rock. One of the youngest of such formations in the continental U.S., the lava is six miles wide at its widest point, 44 miles long, and more than 160 feet thick at the center. From a distance, Valley of Fires appears as barren rock but when you walk through the nature trail there are many varieties of flowers, cactus, trees, and bushes typical of the Chihuahuan desert. It's also a virtual birdwatcher's paradise.
PLIA operates a sales outlet at the Valley of Fires Visitor Center. The outlet provides information and sells resource-oriented educational products, publications and maps.
Camping is available at the recreation area, split between RV sites on the rim of the lava flow and separate, tents-only sites farther away. A mile-long, accessible interpretive trail snakes its way into the lava affording visitors a close look at the flora and fauna of the Malpais.