The Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is one among a number of distant badlands in northwestern New Mexico. Throughout the world referred to as the San Juan Basin, the identical geological options that include beds of coal and gasoline coveted by trade have additionally been carved by the ages into fanciful badlands, populated by unusual “hoodoos” of rock. The close by Bisti Wilderness is probably the most well-known and simply accessible of those badlands and supplies a superb introduction to the world.
The Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah and different badlands are on the “checkerboard,” the place the sq. miles of land alternate in possession between state, Bureau of Land Management and the Navajo Nation. Slow down whereas driving and be careful for livestock. Maps are advisable to navigate the lonely open-range roads of the world. A excessive clearance automobile is normally not wanted, however all-wheel drive would possibly preserve you out of hassle.
As for the badlands themselves, there’s not a lot variance in elevation between the very best and lowest components of the panorama, so topo maps are of restricted use. Just preserve your eyes open. These alien landscapes are as fragile as any that you simply’ll ever go to, so please tread calmly as a result of your footprints may be seen for years to return.
Weather At Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness
In summer season, dusty winds and brutal solar prevail, and the excessive desert warmth of June and July may very well be an excessive amount of for some unaccustomed hikers. Sunscreen and many water are a very powerful objects to hold in your pack. The summer season thunderstorms make for among the finest backdrops for pictures, however they’ll additionally strand you for hours when the filth roads develop into impassable. If stormy skies are what you’re on the lookout for, be ready to probably keep some time.
The badlands could be hiked year-round, even in winter, since storms not often depart snow on the bottom for lengthy.
This picture was captured in April of 2010, simply after sundown. I had been at this location a number of instances earlier than however both on the mistaken time of day or underneath a less-interesting sky. The problem was getting the shot underneath shortly fading gentle whereas ready for a number of seconds right here and there with no wind to sway the grasses.