Tom read an article about the Lybrook Badlands and it piqued our interest. One of the San Juan Basin badlands areas, the presence of hoodoos and distinct stratification in the rock sounded like a great place to hike and take photos. The biggest obstacle seemed to be finding a way into the area close enough to hike in fairly readily. The only roads leading into the area are dirt gas and oil roads which are not marked nor on any maps. You simply choose a road and see where you end up. These roads require a high clearance vehicle and you also need to be aware of the weather as a rain can cause the roads to become impassable very quickly.
We did some research online and found some directions but they left quite a lot to be desired. It appeared that the closest to good directions came from some German tourists which also meant that they had to be translated since neither of us speaks German. The computer did a pretty good job of translating but at times it was a bit funky.
So with some of the translated pages and trusty GPS in hand, we set out. The short version of our adventure is that it took us three tries each comprised of about a fifty mile loop which basically skirted the whole area and ended up back on the highway. I guess the positive of that was that we did not end up lost out there.
Each time we tried a different route I wrote down GPS coordinates whenever we turned onto another little road so hopefully, if it turned out to be a good choice, we could possibly find it again another time. Between the second and third tries, we followed directions to an overlook which provided a spectacular view of the badlands, and of course, just made us more determined to find a way to hike there. It’s truly an amazing landscape.
Our third try was successful in that we found a road that got us close enough to hike in and view some of the hoodoos and other formations. So we had a good hike, took lots of photos, and generally enjoyed ourselves. However, we are determined to go back another time as we know from what we saw at the overlook, that we barely scratched the surface. We may have to do some rather strenuous hiking but there has to be a way to get to more of those formations!