A Memorable New Year’s Day Hike

Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness in New Mexico

New Years Day should be special and memorable. This year, Evan and I were on our road trip to Utah. All of the National Parks were closed, so it was a challenge to find something interesting.

We were headed back East, so we needed to find somewhere to hike in Northeastern Arizona or Northwestern New Mexico. I searched and searched the Internet and finally happened upon the most alien looking scenery I had ever seen – Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness near Farmington, NM. It is on BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) so it had to be open and it fit into our budget – free.

The mushroom-like mounds of Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness in New Mexico.
The mushroom-like mounds of Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness in New Mexico

It is a very remote area and only one other car was there when we arrived. We love the rare chance for solitude and never saw them while we explored.

Spotting the alien landscape off in the distance.
Spotting the alien landscape off in the distance

As you enter, endless drab, grayish-brown mounds extend as far as the eye can see. We climbed hills and wound our way through the area, but couldn’t find anything remotely like the picture I had downloaded to my phone. Although this part was interesting, Evan conceded, “This is all there is.” But I was not leaving until I found what I was looking for.

Finally we climbed the tallest hill and spotted a light brown and tan area way off in the distance. That had to be it. It was easy to lose our way in the maze of the hills and valleys, but we finally found it. It was indescribably amazing and wonderful. With no-one else around, we spent glorious hours taking pictures and snacking.

A photo of the pinnacle I was looking for at Bisti.
We found it! The pinnacle I had downloaded to my phone

We are glad we took the time to find these extraordinary alien-like formations. This hike ranks high on our list of best New Year’s Day adventures.
nomadbarb January 1, 2018

Visit our New Year’s Day adventure on January 1, 2019


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