After leaving ABQ we made our way to Grants, NM to check out the The Land of Fire and Ice ! AKA the Bandera Volcano and its ice cave!
"The Bandera Volcano was active about 10,000 years ago and formed one of North Americas best example of an erupted cinder cone. It is spectacular. It poured out about 20 miles of lava flow through a lava tube system over 17 miles long. Most of the lava tube collapsed but some sections remained intact as cave structures. The Ice Cave is located in the lava flow and specifically in a section of collapsed lava tube. At one end of the collapse is a one room cave where just the right set of physical conditions have combined to form a natural ice box. The temperature in the cave never rises above 31 degrees Fahrenheit. As rain water and snow melt seep down into the cave, it collects on the ice deposit at the bottom and freezes new layers of ice every year. Over the years, scientific research has indicated that ice has been forming in the cave for over 3,400 years. Ancient Native American artifacts recovered and preserved on display in the Trading Post reveals that people have had ongoing interaction with the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano for over 1,200 years. In fact the same trail you walk over to get to the Ice Cave is the same pathway people have been walking along to enjoy the natural and refreshing cool depths of the Ice Cave for over a thousand years. The Spanish Conquistadors that explored the area on the adventures declared it to be "El Malpais" (badlands.)"-icecaves.com
Posing at the look out point. It was a mild 80 degrees and rainy at this "fire" point of our hike.
We headed back down the trail to check out the ice portion of the adventure.