La Ventana Arch

La Ventana natural arch
A short, easy hike to New Mexico's second-largest natural arch. If you are in the area, make the short stop needed to see the arch.

Hike data:

Controlling agency: Bureau of Land Management; El Malpais National Conservation Area
Region: West-central; Cebolla Wilderness.
Elevation:
start: 6998ft; 2133m end: 6998ft; 2133m
min: 6998ft; 2133m max: 6998ft; 2133m
elevation gain/loss: 19ft; 6m.
No value
Length: 0.25mi; 0.40km.
Trail:
surface: paved
condition: Wide
ease of following: Easy
obstacles: None
Fee: $0.00.
Season: All year. Snow in winter will be a problem only right after a snowstorm; if you can drive the road, the trail is probably OK.
Dogs: Unknown.
Bikes: Unknown.
Handicapped accessible: Unknown.
Trailhead facilities: trash can(s).
Hike attractions: geology, scenery.

When we hiked it:

Date: 2000-09-17
Time it took us: 0:20.
Usage (people/hour): 0.00. People per hour unrecorded. The arch is popular. However it takes so little time to hike that you will likely not see anybody else except on busy weekends.
Cleanliness: 9.

Waypoints:

Waypoint Type Description
LAVNTHTrailheadLa Ventana Arch trailhead
LAVTARScenic pointLa Ventana Arch trail end (viewpoint for arch)

Maps:

Geohack online map list

Paper maps:

Map name Cartographer Year Scale Topo map? Online access Notes
El Malpais Recreation Map and Guide BLM 2008 1:100000 Y Public Lands Information Center (purchase) Great overview map for El Malpais area, including showing land ownership.
Geologic Map of El Malpais Lava Field and Surrounding Areas, Cibola County, NM USGS (Charles Maxwell) 1986 1:62500 Y No online copies. For sale at the three visitor centers (NPS, BLM, Northern NM) around El Malpais.
Guide to Indian Country of Arizona Colorado New Mexico Utah Automobile Club of Southern California 1998 1:0 N Arizona Strip Interpretive Association (purchase) Good overview road map for northwest NM. No scale is given on the map. The corner coordinates are approximate.
Wildernesses of New Mexico US Forest Service 1981 1:1000000 N No online copies. Base map with national forests, wilderness areas and highways.

Support this site:

By purchasing your hiking gear through these links, you will support this web site and it won't cost you anything more.

Camping gear at Amazon

Save 40% on Patagonia, The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot & More + Free Shipping over $75! Click to Save.

25% off $150 or 30% off $200 at Sierra Trading Post. Use code: ALMAY2. Valid to 6.6.2012

Getting to the trailhead:

From I-40, take exit 89 at NM 117. Head south to mile marker 39 (about 17.4 miles), where the turnoff to the parking area for the trailhead is.
No short text

About the hike:

No short text
Starting from the trailhead, follow the paved trail out to a sign talking about the formation of the arch. From here, the trail turns to dirt, but remains easy to follow. A few more minutes of walking and you are as close as you can get to the arch (GPS: LAVTAR N 34.869833 W 107.889540). The view from this closest point is what you see pictured here.

Plants we saw along the trail:

Reader comments about this hike:

On Tue Jan 27 09:51:44 2009 Richard R. Barron from Ada, OK said:
You can continue to follow a trail that takes you to an area directly under the arch. The first time I visited, that trail was closed, but in 2003 it was open and I made some very nice images from beneath the arch. Contact me for a link to my page of photos from our 2003 visit. -Richard

From the webmaster: His page of photos is here. Note that the trail he describes to get under the arch is closed (again?).

On Sun Jan 30 07:39:50 2011 Catherine from Albuquerque, NM said:
Visited late in the afternoon yesterday and it was gorgeous - and huge! I hadn't seen arches that big since Utah! The path is easy to walk with a slight incline. At the end is a viewing area sorta in front of the arch. I wish I could have gotten closer to see the sky through the arch because my pictures look pretty flat. Nice area though!

Add your comments about the La Ventana Arch hike.



Copyright © 1997-2014 Kenneth Ingham Consulting, LLC.

For details about the copyright, see the full Copyright statement.

Unhappy? Thinking of suing us? Read this disclaimer.

You can read our privacy statement.


Comments? Send them via the suggestion form.