Acoma – Zuni All From East

Acoma – Zuni All From East Hike
In El Malpais Region

Map File Source: NG Topo

map Hike Key: H10417
Last Updated: 12/15/2020 12:00am
Last Updated By: Marilyn Warrant
Hike Class: D (Difficult)
Hike Distance: 7.7 mi
Minimum Elevation: 6834 ft
Elevation Change: 94 ft
Total Uphill: 108 ft
Total Downhill: 46 ft
Avg. Grade: 1 %
Route Type: Oneway
On Trail: No
Paved or Gravel Roads: Yes
GPS Advised: Yes
Drive Distance Round Trip: 160 mi
Drive Time One-Way: 1:45
Hiking Seasons: Spring, Fall, and Winter
New Mexico Game Unit: 13
Hike Status: Published
Access Description: El Malpais North Access


Part of an ancient route that connects the pueblos of Acoma and Zuni across the lava flow area of El Malpais National Monument.


Difficult walking on lava rock; trekking poles and leather gloves extremely helpful.

Trailhead Directions

From Albuquerque take I-40 west to exit 89 at Grants. Go south on SR 117 about 19 miles, between mileposts 40 and 41, to PARK (0.0 mi) at the Acoma-Zuni East trailhead. There is also a Ranger Station Visitor Center with toilets near milepost 48.

Actual Hike

The trail is dangerous if you do not watch for the next stone pile, or cairn, before proceeding because there is really no trail and it would be easy to become hopelessly lost. At the west end of the hike, the trail crosses over a lava chasm that might very well be the most interesting part of the hike. You will pass areas of level soft, sandy ground then come upon areas of very rough lava.


Not a hike for people who are clumsy. Walking sticks are almost a must — to maintain at least two points of contact with the ground at all times. Leather gloves are another good idea. One way to hike the entire trail is to team up with another senior center, exchange van keys somewhere in the middle, then meet at a convenient location e.g., Grants or the intersection of I-40 and SR 117, to exchange vans. The rating has been set to D because of the difficulty walking on lava rock.


PARK: N34 53.938, W107 51.546
WEST: N34 57.375, W107 56.579
MID POINT: N34 56.001, W107 53.446

Map Filename: Acoma-ZuniAllFromEast_Nnew.jpg
Hike GPS File Name: Acoma-ZuniAllFromEastWayTrack_JB_mod.gpx
Hike GPS File: Click link to download hike waytrack file

Text Author: Roger Holloway
Map Author: Marilyn Warrant
Waypoints Author: John Boyd
Track Author: John Boyd
Maintainer: Dawn McIntyre
Editor: Marilyn Warrant

Photos of This Hike
Click for caption and larger image