Established as a wilderness area in 1984, the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness area is 45,000 acres of eroded badlands that offer some of the most unusual scenery in the Four Corners. Time and natural elements have etched a fantasy world of strange rock formations, hoodoos, spires, pinnacles and arches.
Bisti (pronounced bis-tie) is Navajo for "a large area of shale hills" and is the western portion of the wilderness area. It is characterized by the Fruitland Formation and tends to be deeply eroded and has an abundance of stone formations made of interbedded sandstone, shale, mudstone, coal, and silt.
De-Na-Zin (deh-nah-zin) is Navajo for "cranes" and refers to the eastern portion of the wilderness area. Exposed layers of the Kirtland Shale formation coincides with the K/T boundary layer. It is one of the few pieces of public land in the world where the boundary layer is visibly exposed. De-Na-Zin is less ashy and more sandy than Bisti, making for fewer hoodoos and more massive rolling hills.