New Mexico October 27, 2019
Walk Through 7200 Acres Of Rock Formations At New Mexico’s Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area
One of the things I love most about living in the Southwest is the striking arid landscape. It can be difficult to find so many examples of unique areas anywhere else but they’re all right here in our backyard.
If you’ve already been to the usual locations and looking for something off the beaten path, then you may enjoy trekking through one very isolated area in northwestern New Mexico.
Welcome to the parched beauty of Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area, located just north of Chaco Canyon National Historical Park.
This wilderness area is a massive area of badlands and has been referred to as the “Hoodoo King” of the San Juan Basin. You’ll find an incredible collection of hoodoos, striped washes, and delicate fossils covering more than 7,200 acres.
The name, Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah, originates from the Navajo words
áshįįh łibá, translating to “gray salt.” That seems to perfectly describe the colors here, doesn’t it?
The rolling arid landscape is pretty but the reason most people visit? The hoodoos.
They appear in varying sizes and shapes, appearing to tower into the sky.
Others look like fossilized toadstools clumped on the landscape.
A trip here can easily turn into an all-day adventure. There are no official trails or signs and due to the isolated location, make sure you bring snacks and more water than you think you may need.
What kind of sights do you think you may encounter here?
Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area is remote and quite the trek to reach; the nearest city is Bloomfield, which sits nearly 50 miles away. However, its isolation means you’ll encounter few people and find the area a peaceful reminder of the primordial landscape.
Coordinates: 36.16254556, -107.9164464
Details: Bureau of Land Management
Want to read about another absolutely fascinating isolated area in New Mexico? If you enjoy ghost towns, we bet you will love visiting Chloride! Read more in
You Will Feel A Thousand Miles Away From It All In The Isolated Ghost Town Of Chloride, New Mexico.
Address: 36.16254556, -107.9164464