Bisti Wilderness Area – April 3-6


What a surprise!

I knew nothing about this area and hadn’t even noticed it on the map.  But, a friend of Julie’s had recommended it – so we went.

Just South of Farmington NM, camping is allowed at one of 2 parking areas about 4 miles off the highway and down a bumpy gravel road.  Actually, I think camping is allowed anywhere in Bisti – there were tent campers, but around the parking areas is really the only place for a trailer. 
The scenery from the parking lot is a little moon-like.  Flat, sandy and surrounded by hills. There are no trails in Bisti – you can just wander around.  I understand that there are topo maps with locations of some of the unique features and GPS coordinates of same – but we didn’t have any of that.  We had been told – ‘just follow the wash about 2 miles due east’, which we did. 

OH MY!  For a mile and half or so, the scenery in the wash was interesting – the nearby hills, eroding in interesting patterns and revealing interesting layers and colors, but nothing very special.  But then, we hit the most amazing area.  I could have wandered through the rocks, hills and small canyons for a very long time without getting the least bit bored.

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Along about now, I was remembering the 1999 Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver movie ‘Galaxy Quest’ – when they landed on a planet with little aliens and a big rock monster.  I couldn’t get those scenes out of my head as we wandered through this bizarre landscape.


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Don’t these look organic?  Like large mollusks of some kind . . . .

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The following structure was the perfect size for a lectern.

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Oysters on the half-shell?

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These are known as ‘cracked eggs’ but looked more like roses to us.

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The cap rocks seemed so fanciful sometimes

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There was also petrified wood (indeed, entire trees!).  At first glance, this log looked just like any decaying wood one might find in the pacific NW – until you stepped on some of the wood fragments and they ‘clinked’.  Yup – absolutely, petrified in every detail.

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Everything looks glorious at sunset!




  1. Beautiful posts Anne! Btw, how are you keeping the pets cool?

    1. The trailer stays safely cool - its well insulated and has lots of screened windows for ventilation. With the dogs, with very hot days, i would leave the max fan running for more air circulation.

  2. What highway did you use to reach Bisti? I think I have to go there!

    1. Highway 371 between farmington and crownpoint New Mexico. From Farmington, it's 36 miles south to road 7297. There's a sign for the wilderness area. Go left on 7297 (its gravel). In 2 miles, go left at the 'T' and park at either of 2 parking areas (maybe 1.5 miles after the T to parking).

      Hope you go - it's really neat!


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