El Malpaís (The Badlands) National Monument, where a vast 2,500 years old lava flow of 17 miles abuts sandstone formations and mountain forests, provided a variety of landscape vistas.
A short drive on a gravel road took me to Sandstone Bluff rock formations. On one side you can walk along the base, but the other side was a sheer cliff. From the top, there was an expansive view of the lava beds.
One of the largest natural arches in New Mexico, La Ventana was easily accessible from the parking lot. The surrounding massive cliffs were also an impressive sight.
Passed by the Lava Falls (should be lava flows) which was an extensive field of lava and caverns. Skipped it because I did that when at Valley of Fires. I stopped for lunch at the South Narrows picnic area which provided a nice view of some cliffs.
My exploration of the badlands was on the eastern edge, along NM-117. The western side holds other features that remain to be discovered at another time.
(Pie Town NM)
I stopped to sample the made fresh daily famous pie at Pie-o-neer Café. Had a slice of the New Mexico Apple, which included chile and I think pine nuts, along with a glass of milk. Yummy! Stayed overnight for free at the town campground across the street which had nicely separated sites amongst piñon pine trees.
Camp: Jackson Park CG
Scene: Cliffs, arch, lava