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Is This Earth or Another Planet?

Posted by on March 13, 2015


Arch window distant

North Window at a distance

We have arrived at the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness area about 36 miles south of Farmington, New Mexico.  This is a must see location. It is a National Wilderness landscape that will astound you. Expect to walk a minimum of 6 miles to see a good part of the landscape.  You will be walking on packed sand for the most part.  There are no trail markers here and the 3 mile gravel road to reach the parking area is ok for small campers and class C motorhomes but I would not recommend it for larger class A type RVs. Its graveled but is wash boarded and very rough in some places. After a big rain driving in may be a challenge.   Pay attention to the weather before arriving here. Trying to maneuver by foot in the landscape after a rain also could be difficult based on the very deep shoe-prints  we saw in places.  You will find you will cross a narrow creek several times during your journey.

Overlook at Bisti


There are some resources online to help you find your way to some of the more prominent formations and petrified logs etc.  Take a GPS, and typical survival supplies. It could be easy to get disoriented if you venture over 4 miles to the east.



Lichens on Petrified Log






lichens macro on log

Take a Camera with you!


Petrified Log in BistiBandlands

Petrified Log in BistiBadlands



You may or may not see another living thing on your journey through this wilderness area. Unless you consider some of the eroded sandstone a type of wildlife. Perhaps they all come to life after dark?




Winged creature












At times it feels like you are either on the moon or you are the last person on earth after a devastating explosion.




Mark on red mountain


Large Petrified Log

A large petrified log resting on eroded sandstone.





red clinkers

Red and dark clinkers make for a colorful combination


Where is my “pocket geologist” when I need him.. Ed, you know who you are 🙂  Nevertheless we made our way across this landscape several times during the days we visited; zigzagging from one interesting hoodoo or mound to another.


Red clinkers landscape


Mark near the wall


South window at top


I put some of the photographs of this trip together in a 5 minute video which you can view by clicking the link below.


Now we are off to Aztec Ruins and then to Chaco Canyon.
















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