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Junction Cave and Zuni Area Camping

Junction cave in the Zuni Mountains, or Western New Mexico, is a easy and fun cave for kids.  A two hour drive from Albuquerque, it is located 0.1 miles from the El Caulron trailhead in El Malpais National Monument. It is a lava tube that goes for about 1/4 mile.  When descending, you quickly leave the light, and can easily follow the single main tube down to a mud room at the bottom.  Ascending, look to your left, there is a small passage that goes for a while and is worth exploring, and ends up as a crawl.  Once you emerge from the trail, take the short (2 mile round trip) hike to Bat Cave, which is closed to exploration to protect nesting Mexican Freetail Bats. There are many other lava tube caves in the area, some quite large and technical.

After the cave we intentionally got ourselves lost on the poorly mapped BIA roads of the Ramah Navajo reservation. beautiful country!

We camped Saturday night near Oso Ridge in the Zuni Mountains, and it rained all night, with early summer monsoon thunderstoms apparently starting up for the season. The next morning there was this nice full double rainbow:

zuni_rainbow

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