Friday, October 9, 2020

Among the hoodoos

There are at least a couple of routes to Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area. The BLM recommends turning from US-550 onto New Mexico 57 and driving 13.5 miles to the site. There’s even an official sign at that intersection. Meanwhile, Google Maps recommends County Roads 7820 and 7786 from Nageezi to the last mile of NM-57. I decided the BLM knew best how to get to its place. 

They didn’t. The first part of 57 is paved, but with lots of potholes, crumbling tarmac and bad repairs. The unpaved portion had deep ruts from times when the road was wet. It was drivable but not at all fun. I returned via the other route. Google knew what it was talking about. Although it was mostly unpaved, it was pretty good by dirt road standards. And the paved part was in good shape.

At the trailhead you’re surrounded by flat grassland in every direction. Where’s the cool stuff? About a mile down a sandy two-track, in a valley. Ah-ha. Hike on.