Per the NPS Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations ("36 CFR"), section 1.5, (nps.gov/elma/learn/manageme…
) a permit is required for climbing within El Malpais National Monument:
Climbing is defined in 36 CFR as: "Ascending or descending rocks or boulders with or without the aid of equipment including, but not limited to, ropes, anchors, bolts, and picks, pitons, and related equipment." Section 1.5 states:
"Rock Climbing: Climbing is prohibited anywhere within the monument, including caves and lava tubes, unless
otherwise authorized by a permit from the Superintendent.
Determination: The management of the Monument recognizes many of the areas where climbing could occur
have significant cultural value to neighboring Native American Tribes and climbing activities may conflict with
cultural activities and sacred sites which the Monument was, in part, established to protect. The cliff areas are
composed primarily of sandstone, which by its nature is extremely fragile, brittle, highly fractured, and is not
considered compatible with public climbing activities. Climbing activities would place those involved (as well as
those using the trails directly below the cliff faces) at high risk of personal injury or death since vertical surfaces of
sandstone could fail under the weight of a climber. Climbing will also damage the rock surfaces and potentially
threaten the irreplaceable cultural resources."