Welcome to Wilderness Wednesday, our weekly posting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
This week, we’re highlighting the 41,170 acre Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness. The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is a rolling landscape of badlands, which offers some of the most unusual scenery found in the Four Corners Region. Time and natural elements have etched a fantasy world of strange rock formations made of interbedded sandstone, shale, mudstone, coal, and silt. The weathering of the sandstone forms hoodoos (weathered rock in the form of pinnacles, spires, cap rocks, and other unusual forms). The Bisti Access Parking Area provides a good starting point from which to explore the area most concentrated with hoodoos.
The unique landscape of this Wilderness makes it our most frequently photographed. A query on the internet will reveal many beautiful photos from this area. Non-commercial photography is an appropriate use of wilderness, although modification of the landscape to take photos is not. Commercial photography, that is photography involving models, actors, props, or motion picture to be used for advertisement or as a product for sale, is not allowed. Still photography, so long as there are no models, actors, or props, can be sold commercially. So if you take an award- winning landscape photo here, we hope you get a good offer from a magazine!
To reach the Bisti Access Parking Area, Drive NM 371 just under 36 miles south of Farmington (from the San Juan River crossing) or just under 45 miles north of Crownpoint, New Mexico (from the intersection of 371 and Navajo Service Route 9), and turn east on Road 7297 (a gravel road). Drive Road 7297 for approximately 2 miles to a T-intersection and turn left. Drive just under one mile to the Bisti Access Parking Area, which is just south of a broad wash on the east side of the road. There is another, smaller parking area ¼ mile further north. As this is a wide-open badland formation with little vegetation, there is no trail; visitors may walk into the area in many directions to explore. You will need to keep track of your surroundings to find your way back to your vehicle. For more information please visit the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness website.
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