NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – El Malpais National Monument has opened Giant Ice Cave and Lava Bomb Cave. The caves will be open May 1 though October 31 annually, and closed during the winter months.

The caves require pre-planning and protective equipment to safely explore. El Malpais National Monument is limiting the caves to ten visitors per day per cave. A permit is required to explore the caves. All other caves in the monument are remaining closed for resource protection.

Permits must be picked up at the El Malpais NM Visitor Center or the El Morro NM Visitor Center between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. Visitors need to have their equipment inspected and go through a safety briefing before exploring the cave.

Lava Bomb Cave was created when a lava bomb crashed into a lava tube, leaving a skylight that shines on the remains of the lava bomb that created it. Giant Ice Cave has a small perennial ice floor that sometimes features ice that grow several feet high.

For more information visit the El Malpais National Monument website or call 505-876-2783.