Just after sunset in Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico.

© Sean Pavone/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area

Top choice in New Mexico

This undeveloped realm of multicolored hoodoos, sculpted cliffs and balancing rocks is a surreal dream for photographers. Off the beaten track, it's well worth exploring if you're in the area. Follow the unmaintained path – which we couldn't precisely make out from the trailhead after heavy rains – for a mile to reach the heart of the formations, then wander as you will, but bring a compass or GPS device because it's easy to get disoriented and lost.

We're not exaggerating about bringing a GPS device. A local ranger even got lost here, only managing to find her way back after colleagues drove there, began honking their car horns and she followed the sound!

Overnight camping is allowed – dawn and dusk are the most spectacular times – but you have to haul in all your water. Farmington’s Bureau of Land Management office has information. Bisti is located 36 miles south of town, off Hwy 371.

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