Overview Bisti/DE-NA-ZIN wilderness is one of the most other-worldly landscapes you may ever visit. Situated in a remote part of northwestern New Mexico, it is likely you wont see a single other person during your explorations. Bizarre mushroom-like Hoodoos, fossilized wood, and rocks which appear as if they've melted into earth below, dominate an almost lifeless landscape. There are no trails from the Bisti entrance but a short one exists from the DE-NA-ZIN entrance into the gulch. It is quite easy to get lost here so a GPS is highly recommended. In my opinion, Bisti wilderness is more bizzare and visually inspiring than some more well-known southwestern USA locations such as Goblin Valley Utah or Bryce Canyon Utah.
From Farmington NM take route 371 south for about 20 miles or so. A good map of Farmington is crucial as there are no signs for this route while driving through town. You will see a sign for "Bisti Access" which turns off to the left. The rest is self explainitory. You can see some strange formations from the parking lot about a half mile away. From this section you can explore further into the badlands.
This is designated wilderness area which exists within BLM land. No bikes or "mechanized equiptment" is allowed. NO WATER is available here, so bring plenty. If you bring a dog keep this in mind too. Sandstorms occasionally kick up and can wreak havoc on cameras and the eyes (also exposed skin.) These sandstorms along with rain are what have sculpted the formations here. Please try to avoid disturbing the biotic crust areas and otherwise fragile errosional features. Please don't take fossils and rocks so that they may continue to inspire future visitors.
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As far as I know, there are not any restrictions for camping here. However there is absolutely no wood, and no water. Don't be surprised if you awake to a coyote frenzy close by. (My dog and I experienced this during a winter night car-camping near the trailhead.)
Don't get lost!
I love to wander around. I'm almost always able to find my back with little effort put into deliberate navigation. Usually I instead rely on intuition. Bisti has got me lost both times I've been there! Only trial and error meanderings have helped me find my way back to the parking lot. The area is a series of countless small gullies, rock outcroppings, arroyos and colorful mounds. These are fantastic to explore, but can disorient even the most experienced hikers. Bring a headlamp just in case.