The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness area covers roughly 60 square miles of remote badlands south of Farmington, NM. The wilderness features steeply eroded hills and formations that offer some of the most unusual scenery in New Mexico. The Wilderness was once a coastal swamp of an inland sea; and was home to many large trees, reptiles, dinosaurs and primitive mammals. What you see today is the preserved record of this swamp that is now a true desert wilderness.
Road 7297, off of Highway 371
South of Farmington, NM
Most hikes are 2 to 5 miles round trip. It is best to travel in the early morning and late afternoon. There are no marked trails in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness and it is easy to get confused or lost. A GPS or compass is helpful and pay close attention to your surroundings. Take plenty of water, protective clothing and footwear appropriate for the season. No cell phone service is available.
|What to do?
- Take lots of pictures
- Ride a horse
- Take plenty of water
What not to do?
- Drive a motorized vehicle in the wilderness.
- Mountain bike riding is prohibited.
- No campfires or any other type of fire.
- DO NOT collect any rocks, fossils or petrified wood.
- Do not climb on the formations.
- Travel in groups of more then eight people.
- Do not leave your trash. Take out what you bring in.
||Golden Eagles, Ferruginous Hawks, and Prairie Falcons
The Bits/De-Na-Zen badlands support a small number of nesting golden eagles, ferruginous hawks, and prairie falcons. All of these species are extremely susceptible to human disturbance during the nesting season from February 1 to July 1. If the adult birds are approached too closely, even for a short time, they will likely abandon the nest, leaving their eggs or young to die of exposure. Be aware that disturbing nesting eagles is a violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Act (16 U.S.C. 668c; 50 CFR 22.3) and could result in civil or criminal penalties.
If you see a perched eagle, hawk or falcon, please do not approach the bird. If you encounter a stick nest on a ledge, hoodoo, cavity nest, or any nest, please leave the area and move at least 500 yards away as quietly and quickly as possible. Your cooperation is vital in protecting the future of these rare birds in the wilderness.
The Bisti access is off State Highway 371 at Road 7297, about 40 miles south of Farmington, NM or about 46 miles north of Crownpoint, NM. Follow the graveled Road 7297 for about 2 miles to the parking area. Please note that Road 7297 does not go through the wilderness as marked on most maps and may become impassible in wet weather.
Things you need to know
- There are no facilities.
- There are no marked trails.
- Bring lots of water.
- Good hiking shoes are a must.
- Cost: Free
- More information can be found at the BLM Farmington Field Office, (505) 564-7600
- For Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness usage regulations see the BLM Recreation Use Guidelines
- Best time to visit is in the late spring/early summer or in the Fall.
- Check the weather before visiting. Roads and terrain may become impassible in wet weather. There is also a danger of flash floods in the wash.
- It is easy to get lost while exploring. Bring a GPS unit to help navigate the area. Keep an eye on were the wash is. You can always come back to the wash and find your way back to the parking area by following it to the west.