Grants is only 2 hours from Santa Fe, and an hour & a half from Albuquerque. This is a terrific get away to experience New Mexico's night skies...free from light pollution.
Stop for a beer & Junkyard Sandwich before stargazing! Junkyard on 66 Brewery (formerly Route 66 Junkyard Brewery) got its start as an automotive salvage yard. For 35 years the property was known as Oscars Auto Salvage. Under the vision of new owner, and US Air Force veteran, Henry, in 2016 he added a brewery to this still functioning junkyard. Henry had one mission - to create renowned beer and delectable food while serving them in a unique and memorable setting.
In keeping with the Junkyard theme, this unique brewery features antique vehicles; auto parts as décor; a truck converted to a bar; a lift; tailgates and hoods for tables; and, the best part, in house beers with automotive themed names.
When the weather is nice you can head outside to enjoy your drink or stay inside and entertain yourself with games such as Pool or Chess. There's also an outdoor stage and movie screen for live music and movies during favorable seasons.
A well-loved stop among Harvest Host members, make your stop into Junkyard on 66 Brewery and experience this one-of-a-kind brewery for yourself.
Then, onto stargazing!
El Malpais National Monument has dark features both on the ground and far above. Black lava rock covers much of the surface and even darker night skies fill the horizons in all directions. Why not take an evening to look up after a day of looking down at lava?
Junkyard 66 Brewery
Monday: 12:00 - 9:00pm
Tuesday: 12:00 - 9:00pm
Wednesday: 12:00 - 9:00pm
Thursday: 12:00 - 9:00pm
Friday: 12:00 - 10:00pm
Saturday: 12:00 - 10:00pm
Sunday: 11:00 - 9:00pm
El Malpais National Monument
DURATION 1-8 Hours. Timing, seasons, and weather may affect how long you spend outside.
PETS ALLOWED Yes. We welcome pets at El Malpais National Monument, so long as they are on a leash no longer than six feet (2 meters) and you are attached to the other end. More wildlife is active at night during the summer months, so remember to keep your pet under control at all times.
ACTIVITY FEE No. Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
LOCATION Throughout the Park and Surrounding Areas.
The El Calderon and Lava Falls Trailheads offer the best night sky viewing within the monument. Please be aware that camping is not permitted at any of the following sites.
SEASON Year Round. Sunrise and sunset times change with the seasons. Find the most up-to-date Sunrise and sunset times in Grants, New Mexico (sunrise-sunset.org) Timing, seasons, and weather may affect how long you spend outside
TIME OF DAY Night, Dawn, Dusk. Learn when local sunset and sunrise occurs at sunrise-sunset.org/us/grants-nm. Be aware that the Moon's present phase may impact what you can find in the sky. We highly recommend you check the weather forecast ahead of time. Some planets or other sky features may be visible before dawn or immediately after dusk depending on the time of year.
El Calderon, El Malpais, New Mexico
Average darkness level: 21.49
Park at the trailhead, set up a chair and a telescope, and look up.
A large parking lot offers plenty of space for setting up telescopes and is secluded from light from passing traffic. Safety note: do not hike on the Lava Falls Trail at night due to uneven terrain.
La Ventana Natural Arch and The Narrows Trailhead--both Bureau of Land Management sites--are also great spots to admire the night sky.