Bisti Badlands and Chaco Canyon

Otherwordly Landscapes in the New Mexico Desert

October 3 – 9, 2023

Northwest New Mexico is an extraordinary place. The otherworldly formations of De-Na-Zin (Bisti) and Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah that define this area were shaped by ancient seas and extend for miles. Bones of dinosaurs that once roamed this area have been uncovered by the wind and rain and petrified cypress trees litter the ground. The hoodoos and buttes are like no other on this Earth. There are thousands of compositional elements to go along with the amazing New Mexico skies.

We will spend the first few days and nights photographing the formations of Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah. Here we will learn composition techniques and how to light up these amazing hoodoos in a way that is not detracting from the night sky. On our third day we will head into the wilds of the Bisti Badlands for a comfortable camping experience. With hoodoos literally right outside our tents, we will spend our time exploring and photographing instead of driving to our destination. On our second day of camping, we will head to nearby Chaco Canyon. We will visit, explore, and photograph the massive buildings that were built by the ancestral Pueblo people. These buildings were built between 850 and 1250 A.D. Chaco Canyon has been dedicated as an International Dark Sky Park so the night sky above the ancient dwellings will be extraordinary. On the following day we will explore more of the amazing Bisti. We will spend our last evening at Bisti shooting the stars around camp. After we return to Farmington and a good rest, we will spend the afternoon after lunch, processing and learning new techniques. We will spend our last evening in a beautiful location in the desert around Farmington. The last morning we will eat a nice breakfast together, have one final image review and say our goodbyes.

You can expect easy two mile hikes in the very comfortable high desert temperatures. We will explore some of the most unique compositions, not only for daytime shooting, but also when they come alive using artificial light with a star-filled sky.

New Mexico, USA
Oct 3, 2023 – Oct 9, 2023
Activity Level
Moderate – Long days. Hikes up to 2 miles in New Mexico desert conditions.
Your Pros
Wayne Suggs, Joseph Roybal
Group Size
Sold Out
Limited to 8 Guests