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After leaving Acoma Pueblo we drove on to El Malpais National Monument. We stopped at the visitors center which was some distance from the park. In talking with the ranger we mentioned that our next stop on the trip was going to be El Morro National Monument. The ranger mentioned that the trails at El Morro closed at 4pm. Given that we wanted to do some hiking at El Morro we decided to make just a brief stop at El Malpais. We decided to drive out to La Ventana Natural Arch and look around before heading back out of the park for El Morro. In retrospect it was a waste of time to drove out to La Ventana Natural Arch. While it was nice we spent several days hiking to arches on our last trip to the southwest so the 40 mile drive really wasn’t worth it.

This is a panorama shot on the ridge opposite the arch.

 

On the way out we passed this watering hole and a panorama shot of the vast lava fields.

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