Valley of Fires National Rec Area

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Near the small town of Carrizozo, NM on Hwy 380, we found Valley of Fires National Rec Area. What a great place to stop and camp! 

It is a lava flow from an eruption about 5000 years ago from nearby Little Black Peak.  The lava flowed 44 miles into the Tularosa Basin and now it’s filled with molten rock.  It was amazing to see vegetation sprouting everywhere in such an area when you would think it should be barren. 

We saw such picture perfect examples of desert plant life.  Agave plants, sotol, tree cholla, prickly pear cacti, juniper trees and lots of yucca plants

The campground here was small, about 19 sites, not all with electric and water, but they did have water and a dump station available.  There is also a shower house, a small visitor center and a camp host if you need any assistance.  Campsites are first come, first serve only, but we didn’t have a problem this time of the year arriving in the early afternoon.  The campsites are well spaced out, paved and mostly pull-thrus, with a sheltered picnic table, fire ring, tent pad, grill and  garbage can. We paid $12 for a non-electric site, and the electric/water sites were only $18 a night. Great deal for some great things to explore.

There is a handicap accessible trail through the lava flow to get up close to this odd looking landscape.  The trail is about a mile long, completely paved and was a great little hike.

Rich got some great shots of the rough terrain, lava rocks and remnants of lava tubes.  We could only imagine what was living in there.

Besides battling some heavy winds the day we were there, this was a favorite stop on our journey and one we would recommend if you are coming through the area.   We finished our hike just before sunset…such beauty everywhere and a perfect way to end the day!

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