Sunday, July 10, 2016

New Mexico - Bisi/De-Na-Zin Wilderness

Location of entrance: 36°11'23.0"N 108°09'48.8"W




Description

This is part of the National Conservation Lands owned by the Federal government.  The park is open and there are no facilities.  There is no entrance gate or fee.  The trails are unmarked and you can wander all over the park.  One of the best sources of information about this park is located at this website: http://www.thewave.info/BistiBadlandsCode/Map.html.  My wife and I visited this park with limited time to hike due to a thunderstorm in the distance.  We were unsure of the danger of hiking too far from the car knowing that we could get caught in the storm.  So we wandered around a bit and within no time we stumbled upon Hoodoos, which is what we came for.  The site we found were not mentioned at the website where I provided a link, so I'll show it on a map here:




You can park near the road where it curves to the right (click on the map above and explore in Google maps to get familiar with the are).  This area occurs after the second parking area and is on the left side of the road.  You'll basically walk down the washed out area, toward a hill that looks like this:


You can see the Hoodoos to the right of this hill.

There are no official trails and if you want to stick to this area, you can keep the hill in sight to keep from getting lost.  If you plan to hike further, you should probably get a hand-held GPS unit.  If you're old-school like me, you'll have a compass in your back-pack and you can just walk East from your location until you run into the road.  Then follow the road to your car.

Here are some pictures of the location:



The storm in the back was far off in the distance, but we kept our eyes on it to make sure we didn't get caught in it.  The ground here is like baked mud and I can imagine what it would turn into if it starts to pour.  Hoodoos seem to be this mud that has been sculpted by the wind.  It feels like it's made out of a soft concrete material.  We were cautious not to damage any of the delicate looking structures.




A rabbit (or desert hare judging by his ears) startled us.

 


Watch out for ant hills and lizerds:


Some of these scenes remind me of the movie Alien:

 
There is a lot of attractive scenery in this area.  You don't have to be much of a hiker to see a lot.



Some day we would like to do some serious hiking at this wilderness.  Bisti is so large that it would be impossible to see it all in a day.  I think it would take almost a week to hike around and see everything.  

There are several advantages that this wilderness has over some of the more famous parks.  There are very few visitors.  I think I counted 4 cars on this day and we didn't run into anybody hiking.  So it felt like we had the whole park to ourselves.  

It's very quiet here.  Nothing but cows in the distance.  The wind was blowing rather hard, but that was about the only noise around.

The sights are rather close to the entrance.  We only drove for about 5 or 10 minutes to get back to this area.  Many of the National parks in the South-West require a good hour drive to get to the park from the main road.





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