We finally made a trip to northwestern New Mexico to explore the De-Na-Zin and Bisti Wilderness Areas. It’s an area of badlands that I’d been wanting to see, but it’s a bit too far from Albuquerque for a day hike. By spending the night in Farmington, we had plenty of time to hike through De-Na-Zin the first day and then Bisti the second day.
Saying that we hiked through the 2 areas is probably not the most accurate description. There are more than 40,000 acres of remote badlands with no marked trails and no way to see all of it in one visit. We were fortunate to have Ken and Sue, our hike leader friends, join us on the trip. Sue had GPS tracks along for both days to keep us from getting lost and to guide us to some of the most interesting formations. Of course, if you get excited about eroded rock hoodoos and exposed geologic formations like we do then it would be hard to find formations that weren’t interesting.
Besides rocks eroded into weird shapes, both areas have amazing examples of petrified wood logs and splinters scattered everywhere. Here are photos of some of the petrified logs. Trying to photograph the piles of petrified wood chips and splinters didn’t give a sense of the detail, but the logs are quite impressive, some of them over 50 feet long.