The Bisti / De-Na-Zin Wilderness and the Ah Shi Sle Pa Wilderness Study Area are located approximately 36 and 63 miles respectively from Farmington, in the high desert Four Corners area of New Mexico. Other than a parking lots off of dirt roads there are no trails, no directional signs, no water, no campsites and no facilities of any kind in Bisti Badlands and Ah Shi Sle Pa. The nearest hotels are in Farmington and Bloomfield, NM. As a result, very few visitors discover these unusual areas which feature strange rock formations of sandstone, shale, mudstone, coal beds and silt. The weathering of the sandstone formed hoodoos in the form of pinnacles, spires, cap rocks and other unusual forms. Many of these formations appear to have been designed by Dr. Seuss.
The landforms of Bisti Wilderness and Ah Shi Sle Pa date back to the Cretaceous period some 145 million years ago. At that time there were numerous inland seas, strange and swampy conifer forests, as evidenced by the petrified trees, animal fossils and dinosaur bones which are still found throughout the area. Over millions of years, the seas disappeared and the resulting layered land was eroded by wind and water.