Field Trip to El Malpais

Pam McBride and Doris Eng, leaders.

This year, we will aim to see the cinder phacelia (Phacelia serrata) on the El Calderon trail, a 3.8 mile loop, approximately 100 miles one way from Albuquerque. The cinder phacelia grows on exposed cinder slopes and is dependent on having volcanic cinders as a substrate. The El Malpais is one of only two locations in the United States where this species occurs, the other being Sunset Crater National Monument in Arizona. If there is a decent display of the plant during our exploratory excursion the week before our field trip, then we will go to the El Calderon trail first and then those who wish to go explore the Narrows Rim Trail can carpool with us there.  If not, then we will drive directly to the Narrows Rim Trail, 500 feet above the lava fields. Anticipate great views and encounter displays of a wide diversity of wildflowers including Monarda punctate, crag-lily (Echeandia flavescens), and Indian pink (Silene laciniata) and members of the four-o’clock, borage, and aster families.

Meet at Saver’s parking lot on Carlisle on NE side of Carlisle/Menaul intersection. Park behind Mattress Firm in SW corner of lot.