The Bisti Badlands / De Na Zin Wilderness Area was once a coastal swamp of an inland sea, home to many large trees, reptiles, dinosaurs and primitive mammals. Today hikers find the preserved record of this swamp amidst a true desert wilderness.
Visit Bisti Badlands to hike, take photographs,camp and watch wildlife. The Bits/De-Na-Zen badlands support a small number of nesting golden eagles, ferruginous hawks, and prairie falcons. There are two major geological formations found in the wilderness, the Fruitland Formation and the Kirtland Shale. The Fruitland Formation makes up most of what the visitor will see while in the badlands where weathering of the sandstone forms the many spires and hoodoos (sculpted rock) found throughout the area. The Kirtland Shale contains rock of various colors and dominates the eastern part of the wilderness. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness to protect the area’s naturalness, special features, and opportunities for solitude and primitive types of recreation.
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. Pay close attention to your surroundings. Take plenty of water, protective clothing and footwear appropriate for the season. No cell phone service is available.