A Little Bit of Bisti

Noun Sequitur

My Feet Hurt
Oct 24, 2012
We were on our way to Utah and had two hours to explore the Bisti side of Bisti/De-Ne-Zin Wilderness. Fortunately there is plenty of cool stuff to see within a mile of the parking lot. No giant hovering hoodoos here, but I imagine this little spot gets bypassed quite a bit in favor of the more extravagant stuff.

We rounded the corner and I could tell that we had picked a good drainage to explore.

The color and shape of the sandstone reminded me of formations inside caves.

The palette was close to monochromatic, but here and there were chunks of red and orange.




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A blurry one from the car on the way out

Bonus Mini TR, Indian Creek Rock Art

While we were in Utah, we took an afternoon to visit one of my favorite art galleries...


I found some pictographs nearby that I hadn't seen before
Ah, you did good! Love those images.

I started going in there years ago, even slept in there twice, king of spooky. The photo ops are endless. Did you see any of the petrified logs? Some are long and some have the root ball end on them, laying on supports like some kind of ancient altar. I know some who have found dinosaur teeth there. If you get a chance try going a bit further into the Ah-shi-sle-pah. You'll find more hoodoos and certainly see some dinosaur stuff, bones and teeth and even some of the dimpled armor, maybe a spike or two. I've slept in there several times too to get the sunset and weird light. There is some crazy stuff in both of those places and they seem like mazes. I even found a huge "room" in one where it was surrounded by walls and the water drained out through sump holes. There were some good petrified wood in there too.

That is a place you can go back time and again. The De-na-zin is close too, in fact they are really connected now with some trading of lands. There are some crazy things there too.
I've been there a couple of times. I'm pretty sure I met Socrates there one full moon night in my early 20s.

Thanks for sharing, great stuff.

Oh yeah, very nice. I like it when they are sticking out of a wall of material as in the last one. And the second one, that piece in the smooth wash, is a nice juxtaposition. You have a good eye.

Those little washes in there were interesting and I spent some time photographing them as well even though the dazzling hoodoos abounded. Once I caught a couple of the smooth washes after a snow storm with a bit of chocolate water flowing. It is a crazy place and you will find more and more every time you go in there. A lot of photographers head to a place called the Egg Garden with some interesting formations but there is a lot more to the Bisti...
I started going in there years ago, even slept in there twice, king of spooky. The photo ops are endless. Did you see any of the petrified logs? Some are long and some have the root ball end on them, laying on supports like some kind of ancient altar.

Bisti is such a cool area to explore. I saw one of the areas of petrified trees last year. One of the logs was at least 30 feet tall (I laid down next to it to measure), including root ball. It was amazing!
I will caution anyone heading there to be aware that if there's been recent rains, some of the roads WILL BE (not MAY BE) impassable.

They had a nice gravel surface when we got there, I think maybe they've redone the road recently. It had rained and was still raining in spots. On the way there I was concerned that we would have to bail but the road was in great shape. I'm sure that could change with a flash flood, but we didn't have any issues. The parking lot has a good surface also but is in a low area. It had flooded recently, silt was about an inch deep in spots. So agreed that you definitely need to keep an eye on the weather.
If any of you Bisti fans or @Carlos fancy a return visit or De-Na-Zin, or Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah, as it seems a very large area to explore with great sunrise/sunset photographic potential for anyone willing to camp out, and I'm hoping to get there around Oct 11 or 12.

I'm going to Utah in a few weeks & if the weather plays ball in the early part of the vacation & doesn't push things back, I'd love to go with someone as a guy called Steve Ancuk has been several times and done photos for magazines, but he says there's lots to explore quite a ways from the parking area & as he likes the golden hour he often has to camp out as it's hard to return to the car by dark and he likes sunrise too, but he also says the deeper you go it can be a bit of a maze to get lost in, so if I'm going to really explore I'd prefer to be with someone- especially with an international flight to catch next day from Denver!
I spent a few days in Bisti one March and about blew away. I pitched my little tent right next to my car as a windbreak and ended up actually tying it to my car. I didn't see anyone else there at all. I loved it, the nights were clear and cold and it felt like I was in a world untouched by humans. I have a friend who's an archaeologist and has spent a lot of time there and says it's spooky, but I'm not superstitious and it didn't feel that way at all. It's great for photography, and I got some nice photos. If you end up going alone, I wouldn't worry too much about getting lost, just be aware and you'll be fine. I didn't find it at all intimidating that way.
I agree with @Rockskipper almost to the letter. I was fascinated and found it to be a great photography location. My wife however was spooked by it and would not even go with me on our second day hike which was on a bright sunny day. If you have a GPS I say you have no problems, there are also many quite distinct landmarks for line of sight route finding. Returning to your camp would always be to the west if you were to have any problems. Some very interesting areas are even located outside the wilderness area by just crossing the gravel road to the westP5270614.jpg
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Anybody ever found the "Celebration of the Lizard" in the Bisti? The Lizard is on the north side of the circle, a Navajo thing.


There are many strange things in this place...many geological layers from ancients times, even once a place of the western inland sea. Strange fossils in all the areas up there. Since there are no paths it is a bit crazy at first but we have found it easy to hike even at night. We also encountered some folks on horseback shooting off their pistolas in the dark once as they rode. We hid behind some of the hoodoos so they would never know we were there and could not mark us. LOL Its a crazy world.

There are a thousand things to see in that place. Take a compass, as they say, west is the way back but there are some mazes in there.
Wow. Another great place to add to my "someday" destination want list. That is what is great about this forum. I had never heard of this place. I went back and looked at all the previous reports and posts about this interesting place.