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“Not to be Missed!”

Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Farmington
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 7, 2013

The geology is amazing -- you can walk anywhere and the erosional features are all accessible close up. It’s difficult to imagine how one could take a boring photo here. It is 34 miles from Farmington and any conveniences, there are no park facilities and you do need to hike at least a mile to get to the really interesting features (bring lots of water), but that only serves to keep the visiting population low. You may run into photographers at key sites (e.g., the Egg Factory) at sunrise and sunset, but at other times it’s easy to find total solitude. It is also hard to get lost as everything branches off a large central wash. Any disorientation can be quickly overcome by scrambling up the surrounding mesa for a broad view. It was dry when we were there, but occasional hardened and deep footprints indicate hiking when it is wet and muddy would be a real slog.

5  Thank Carry-on-Cat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 - 171 of 223 reviews

Reviewed April 12, 2013

If you enjoy hiking off the beaten path then the Bisti Wilderness is for you. There are no facilities, no water, no marked paths, and no map handouts so you definitely need to do some preparation. On the up side there are also no crowds (only two cars in the parking lot when we were there). Definitely have a GPS and/or compass and map. It is very easy to get turned around in the small canyons and washes while looking at the truly unique rocks and formations. And, don’t forget lots of water, there is no shade.

Following previous review advice, I visited Google maps before going to get a sense of where the more interesting formations are located and then plotted a route on my GPS. It still took some wandering around to get to the locations because you can’t get very far in a straight line. We had a great afternoon of hiking and trying to find some of the more interesting formations. We walked about 5 miles and still did not see everything.

Signs to the area (Bisti south parking lot) down Rt 371 from Farmington to Rd 7297 (left turn) were good. The road itself is gravel and hard pack dirt and a 4WD vehicle is not required.

Definitely a photographers paradise so early morning or late afternoon will give you the best contrast, but visit anytime to see another planet.

3  Thank JKB1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

We only went to Bisti so I can't say much about the De-na-zin (east) side. Access was super easy; there are lots of signs from NM 371 as well as ample and obvious parking. If you want to see the cracked eggs and petrified wood I would suggest the following. From the parking lot look for two (almost twin) red hills to the east and to the right of all the other small red hills. Walk there and climb one. Look east and look for two black flat topped hills (they will be slightly to you right) and not super close. Climb down and walk in that direction until you can see the two black hills. Walk just past the two black hills on their left side, and look for a small arch. It will be right in front of you maybe 1/4 mile away. Walk to the arch. Walk due south and start looking for the eggs (tiny bit to the east once you have gone south from the arch). They will look like rubble from the arch. Once you find the eggs continue east from there and explore the side washes to your right. You will find some very impressive petrified wood and hoodoos.

Don't waste your time talking to folks at the BLM in Farmington. They aren't really set up for tourism stuff. It seems the laws regarding mineral rights on Indian and public lands is very complicated. I think this consumes 95% of the BLM's energy. Also their map isn't helpful. The detail just isn't sufficient.

If you like Bisti, I recommend checking out Ah-shi-sle-pah Wash Wilderness Study Area. It is much harder to access though. A hat and/or sunglasses would be a good idea.

5  Thank Nicholas L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2012

This place reminds you of another planet. Weird rock formations sprout from the ground which varies in color from red to black to white and every color in between. There are no trails. You wander around in mini canyons and mini hills. I once got disoriented and was led out by a group of wild horses. For real. It's a totally inhospitable incredibly beautiful place. Don't go in the summer.

3  Thank Rupert V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

The problem here is finding stuff, but we found enough to make for a great hike of about 3 hours. We went to the BLM office, but their map just vaguely showed some areas to visit. Nonetheless, I highly recommend this if you are in the area. Walk about a mile in from the parking lot, look around, and you'll find unique stuff.

Thank jjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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