Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
554.00 ft (168.86 m)
Trail type
7.30 mi (11.75 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Narrows Rim Trail is a fantastic out and back trail that leads alongside the edge of a mesa overlooking the volcanic landscape below. Begin by driving El Malpais Road to the Narrows Trailhead, about 30 miles south of Grants, New Mexico.

From the trailhead you’ll ascend gradually up the mesa. The trail is well defined and traveled, but in a few areas it may be easy to loose if not paying attention. Watch for cairns to guide the way in these areas.

It won’t be long until you are met with fantastic views. From the edge of the sandstone cliffs you’ll be able to see far across the volcanic landscape below of the McCartys Lava Flow and El Malpais National Monument. You can even see all the way in the distance to the Chain of Craters.

You can continue onward for as far as you wish. To complete the full hike it is a bit under 8 miles round trip, but you do not need to hike this far to enjoy the amazing views.

If you do hike to the end of the mesa, you can get a glimpse of La Ventana Arch down below. An optional off trail route (often used by CDT hikers) can take you down to the arch, or you can just drive and hike the easy paved pathway to the arch as a separate adventure.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Great views. Can hike the full trail, or shorten the hike (still with great views) if desired.

Trailhead Elevation

7,088.00 ft (2,160.42 m)

Highest point

7,507.00 ft (2,288.13 m)


Vault toilet
Family friendly
Big vistas
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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