Welcome to where the West is still wild.
The Bisti, otherwise known as the De-na-zin Wilderness, is over 60 square miles of uninterrupted badlands. Once under an ancient sea, time and erosion have left behind petrified trees, vibrantly colored hills and forests of hoodoos. An area as vast and endless as it is fascinating, The Bisti is completely free of any amenities, and once inside there are no marked trails or designated routes, so exploring the wilderness is completely open ended. With that freedom though, must come a fair amount of caution; the wilderness is vast and hiking in without a compass, GPS or paying close attention to the way you came could mean getting lost.
While it’s easy to get immersed in this wild wonderland, cell service is spotty at best so come prepared. Bring more water than is necessary, wear the right clothing, bring hats and sunscreen and avoid hiking at night as it gets disorienting quickly – believe us, we tried. For those looking for a casual exploration, there’s a short mile hike to the first little hoodoo garden from the South parking lot, but for the more ambitious trekkers or those wanting to camp in the Bisti, you can hike as far into the park as you are able to, just be prepared for the extremes of the wilderness. In the dead of summer the heat can be brutal, and in the winter the lack of vegetation and huge sky keeps the average temperatures much lower than the rest of the desert. As such, the best time to trek a few miles into the badlands comes in the spring or late summer/fall and either in the early mornings or late afternoons. For those who are camping, the best night skies come with the new moon, but the hoodoo’s look spectacular under the light of a full moon, so aim for those dates. Bottom line: The Bisti Badlands is as wild as wild gets, and it’s only natural for Lobo’s to explore the Wild West.