Bisti Badlands

I had heard about the Bisti (BIS-tie) Badlands ever since moving to New Mexico and have always wanted to visit. It’s pretty far from Santa Fe; about 40 minutes south of Farmington in the middle of nowhere. About 50-70 million years ago it was a riverine delta on the edge of the Great Western Seaway, which covered much of New Mexico and the west. The remains of that, as well as volcanic ash, now make up this surreal landscape. I spent a day and night there so I could get up early and explore before dawn. Despite being somewhat warm during the day, it was crazy cold at night, and the first hour of tramping through the cold darkness before pre dawn arrived was a little challenging.

It’s a giant area, and takes a little orienting to figure out where to go. This was my first exploration, so I’m looking forward to returning now that I have a somewhat better sense of the place.

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pre dawn with the black hills in the foreground
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Dawn just breaking. It seems like another planet, And NO ONE is out here at this time.
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Looking north over the flat area between two lines of hills as the sun starts to rise.
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The different kinds of rock deposits erode at different rates, making these hoodoos.
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Looking down into a little valley of hoodoos.
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This is a tree that fell some 50 million years ago, and the wood was replaced by minerals.
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more hoodoos
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canyon of hoodoos
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rock formations at sunset
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looking towards the sunset on the way back to the parking area
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2 thoughts on “Bisti Badlands

  1. Barbara McGuire

    Nice images of the hoodoos. Seems a little creepy to be out there all by yourself. Is there any cell reception out there?

    Like

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