Scenic USA - New Mexico
Each day Scenic USA presents a new and interesting photo feature from somewhere in the United States. Chosen from a wide variety
of historic sites, city scenes, backcountry byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a brief explanation. For further detailed
information, links to other sites are provided, but are never to be considered an endorsement.
Well off the beaten track and spared from any amount of traffic due to very limited signage, the Angel Peak Scenic Area is one of those rare finds in New Mexico's landscape. Found about 30 miles south of Farmington, the 7000 foot Angel Peak creates the highlight in this marvelous badlands scene.
One of the named features of the San Juan Basin Badlands, this section of Angel Peak National Recreation Area is a study of geology and paleontology. Angel Peak was created from multiple layers of sandstone and rests upon more accumulations of siltstone, mudstone and sandstone. Layer upon layer of sediments were deposited in this basin about 50 million years ago. Made up largely of deposits from the Laramide Highlands and eroded sediments from the Rocky Mountains, fossilized remains of mammals, fish, lizards and crocodiles lie frozen among the rock layers.
Access to this scenic area is found by way of CR 7175, a gravel track used mostly by gas-well workers and equipment trucks. A few of the overlook sites offer a limited number of picnic tables, vault toilets and sun shelters. A small number of campsites allow Angel Peak visitors to stay for extraordinary sunrise and sunset photography. Short trails are found along the canyon rim, a perfect place to discover dramtic canyonland views and a few desert reptiles. As with any dirt and gravel roads, backcountry access may become impassable in wet weather. New Mexico, a Land of Enchantment, is also a land of extremes. Snow and cold in the winter fade to summertime heat. Strong winds may blow through this barren badland and intense heat bakes everything in this desert land. But - if this photograph is any indication, it's all worth it.
Angel Peak Location/Access
Copyright © 2012 Benjamin Prepelka
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