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Shale Hills in the Bisti Badlands

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Image taken: 10/19/2012
by: David McCraw
© 2012

Longitude: -108.251377
Latitude: 36.272553
  (WGS 84 or NAD 83)

About this image

The Bisti, part of the De-Na-Zin Wilderness administered by the Bureau of Land Management, is a magical, other-worldly, erosional landscape. In Navajo, "Bisti" means "large area of shale hills." It is characterized by thin, often lenticular beds of Paleocene Ojo Alamo sandstone overlying shales, mudstones, siltstones, minor sandstones, and coal of the Cretaceous Kirtland Formation. This unamed wash, a tributary of Hunter Wash, disects the badlands. Large areas of petrified wood and trees are located roughly 2 miles from the parking lots south of the wash; petrified stumps may be found north of the wash about a mile beyond the black, coal bearing mesa on the right.


Two small parking lots are located on Navajo Road 7293, approximately 2.5 miles east of NM Highway 371, 36 miles south of Farmington and 45 miles north of Crownpoint.

Image posted: 12-17-2021