As we said in our previous post we had visited Farmington for a few days at the beginning of this trip. That’s because the nimble hiker wanted to visit an area south of the city called the Bisti Badlands. But the temperatures were much too high at the start of September so we decided to return here at the end of our trip since our planned route already had us in nearby Cortez, CO.
So after spending a few days in Cortez with Dave, Sue, and Lewis, we drove about 80 miles back south into New Mexico and again set up the motorhome in the McGee Park, the San Juan County Fairgrounds just east of Farmington. The next day we were up early and headed south on NM 371 (aka the Bisti Highway). After 36 miles on NM 371 we turned east on to CR 7291, a well maintained dirt road. In just under two miles we came to a “T” where we turned north on CR7290. One mile up that road and we came to the parking area for the Bisti Badlands. There were many campers staying in the parking lot but it is fairly large and we had no trouble finding a spot for the Jeep. There is a covered picnic table and a pit toilet in the lot if you need it.
The Bisti Badlands is part of the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, a 45,000-acre wilderness area. Established in 1984, the Wilderness is a desolate area of steeply eroded badlands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, with the exception of three parcels of private Navajo land within its boundaries. Time and natural elements have created a world of strange rock formations made of sandstone, shale, mudstone, coal, and silt.
We parked the Jeep, grabbed our packs, and headed out to the east over a wide flat area for 1.7 miles to our first area, the Egg Hatchery. There is no set trail so you just head east toward some low hills (look for other hikers in the distance). We had downloaded a map with coordinates for some of the best rock formations and used a hiking app to keep track of our route since there is no designated trail and no signs.
We spent two days exploring the area, hiking in the southern formations on the first day and exploring formations on the north side the second day. We think we could have spent a week there and not see all there is to see. It is a very interesting place, well worth the effort to get there.
We’re now back home in southern Nevada after a wonderful month exploring central and southern Colorado and a bit of northern New Mexico. We have no motorhome travel plans until at least the middle of January so the blog will be quiet for a while. But we will return in the future with more adventures.
More on that (much) later . . .