Although it has a rather complicated name, don’t let it scare you, because its scenery and beauty make it a very attractive place for tourists and residents of New Mexico.
So, if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable outdoor adventure, look no further than the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area in Bloomfield, New Mexico.
Located in the arid San Juan Basin of northwest New Mexico, this area is a true hidden gem that is waiting to be explored.
Covering over 6,500 acres of Bureau of Land Management land, the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area is a badland area of rolling water-carved clay hills rich in fossils and geological formations .
The area’s thin vegetation includes sagebrush, piñon-juniper, Great Basin scrubland, and grassland, which do little to conceal the area’s stunning rock formations .
One of the highlights of the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area is its incredible collection of hoodoos, striped washes, and delicate fossils, covering more than 7,200 acres .
The area is a landscape of sandstone cap, with ornate rock formations appearing in various colors such as gold, red, yellow, or orange, depending on the light .
Accessing the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area requires a bit of effort, but the rewards are well worth it.
One route to the area takes you from US-550 to NM-57. Note your mileage and then continue along NM-57 for 13.5 miles. The wilderness area will be on your right. Alternatively, you can drive from NM-371 and use county roads to access NM-57 .
Visitors should come prepared for a rugged and dry terrain with little to no amenities. If your vehicle breaks down or you get lost, there’s a good chance it will take some time for help to arrive .
But once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning locale with wild rock formations and spectacular night skies .
With its stunning geological formations, delicate fossils, and unique landscape, it’s a hidden gem that’s just waiting to be discovered. So pack your bags, grab your hiking boots, and get ready to explore this incredible wilderness area.
Where is the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness located and what is its topography like?
The Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness is located in northwestern New Mexico and is a badland area of rolling water-carved clay hills.
What are some popular hiking trails in the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness?
One popular hiking trail in the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness is the Ah-shi-sle-pah Trail, which is approximately 2.7 miles long and considered an easy route.
The trail is a loop trail and is popular among hikers, but can still provide some solitude during quieter times of the day.
How do I get to the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness and what is the best time to visit?
The Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness is located in the northwestern part of New Mexico and is about an hour drive from Farmington, NM and 2.5 hours from Albuquerque, NM.
The area is accessible by car, but a 4-wheel drive is recommended for certain parts of the area. Winters in the area are cold, summers are warm, and dust storms are common in the spring. June is considered a good month to visit if clear skies are desired. 18]
What is the scenery like in the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness?
The Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness is a scenic area of badlands, sandstone cap rocks, and olive-colored hills. The area is known for its unique geological formations, which include hoodoos and fossils.
The colors of the landscape are soft and rarely seen elsewhere. Some notable areas in the wilderness include the Alien Throne, King of Wings, and Valley of Dreams.