Bisti/De-Na-Zin is one wilderness area but Bisti and De-Na-Zin are 15 aerial miles apart. This page is about De-Na-Zin area only. For information about Bisti, click here
De- Na-Zin is an area of scenic badlands in the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. While not as scenic as the nearby Bisti area, De-Na-Zin area contains petrified wood and a number of arches. Like many nearby badlands, De-Na-Zin does not have any established trails. Below, you will find my 3.5 mile loop hike in search of some of the features of the area imported into my GPS from the website referenced at the bottom of the page. I found a few other arches and petrified wood in addition to what is marked on the map below. There is obviously much more to see than what any one website could describe.
From the intersection of Route 64 and 550 in Bloomfield, New Mexico, drive 24 miles south on Route 550 and turn right (west) onto Road 7500. Drive 12 miles to the signed parking for De-Na-Zin. Road 7500 is a well graded dirt road and in dry conditions should be passable to any car. A sign at the beginning of Road 7500 says “In inclement weather, the road will become impassable”.
This is a description of my hike (blue line) in search of red colored Google Map pins imported into my GPS from this website: http://www.aztecnm.com/recreation/bisti/visit.html
Maximum Elevation: 6450 ft
Minimum Elevation: 6275 ft
From the parking area, I headed north on a two-track over the grassy desert plain to reach the edge of the plateau where the badlands started.
Went down the edge of the plateau and got into a meandering ravine. Then left the ravine and went to find Petrified Log 17. A few pictures from that area.
The search for Petrified Log 18 got me to a hill top. Did not find the log. Views from the hill top.
Petrified Log 32.
Near De-Na-Zin Arch.
Looked like a petrified log to me but it was not in my GPS. Found it in the ravine below De-Na-Zin Arch.
Zoomed view of another arch somewhere to the west of De-Na-Zin Arch. This arch did not appear on the map I imported into my GPS.
I then headed south toward the hills on the south side of the dry wash. Zoomed view of another arch not appearing on my map.
Looking north at the white hills.
Hills on the south side of the dry wash.
Unnamed Arch 1 did appear on my map.
Near unnamed Arch 1.
Went up the hills to reach the top of the desert plateau and then hiked back to the parking area.
No fees or permits required.
Verbal permission obtained over the phone (888 543 4629) 11/18/17, 12:30 pm Central Time Zone.
When to visit
Winter will be cold and summer can get dangerously hot. Summer can also bring afternoon monsoons making the dirt roads impassable. Spring and fall are the best times to visit.