Bisti Badlands Sunrise Loop
ElevationAscent: 99' 30 m
Descent: -99' -30 m
High: 5,830' 1,777 m
Low: 5,772' 1,759 m
GradeAvg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 4% (2°)
Current trail conditions
Popular hikes nearby
Bisti Badlands' Winged Hoodoos
4.3 mi 7.0 km • Out and Back • 113 ft Ascent 34.35 m Ascent
Singletrack Farmington, NM( 2 )
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“The Bisti Badlands are a BLM-managed area full of strange rock formations, fossils, and geologic interest.”— Rob M.
Family Friendly If you go during a temperate time of year, hearty kids with a sense of adventure will enjoy this hike. Be sure they are ready for a hike of this distance in the expected conditions.
Unlike most places these days, the Bisti has no formal trails. However, with a keen eye and an intrepid spirit, your reward for heading into the wildlands will be fantastic views, total seclusion, and piles of multi-colored rocks, sand, and boundless beauty.
When this area is muddy, the hike will become VERY slick, so expect to gain a few inches in height from the mud caking on your feet.
The ground will now be a mixture of hardpack and sand in lower-lying places. From here, you'll need to scramble over a few passes to get into the hills and gain some altitude. Start watching for small water tunnels, as they indicate hollow hills to be extra careful on. There are places where the hills collapse into these hollows and result in a 20+ foot deep pit of broken rocks that you don't want to end up in.
Around 2 miles in on the top of the ridge, there will be some hoodoos with a clear view to the east that offer ethereal views during sunrise. From here, head around to the east where you'll want to recross the main wash. In the hills to the south you'll find a petrified forest. Trees once up to 3 feet in diameter fell and were buried in ash, preserved for millennia as their molecules became replaced with silica. Continue along the loop to find Cracked Egg formations and intimate landscapes tucked into every hill and wash.
Explore away in these areas before returning along the main wash to the parking area.
PLEASE DO NOT DAMAGE THE FORMATIONS. They are delicate works of natural art that took millennia to create and can't be put back together.
Land Manager: BLM New Mexico - Farmington Office