As I sit here staring at my computer screen trying to think of something amazing tell you about the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Area located in San Juan County, New Mexico, the simple truth is this place is other worldly. Its like staring at something that is from a completely different world with it’s sandstone hoodoos.
However, as above, I do display exactly where the location of this mind-blowing place is; I am hesitant to reveal much more about the area. The Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Area is very unique place and should remain as such.
It’s simple; respect the land, pack it and pack it out, clean up after yourselves, and leave no trace. In an article published by the Guardian, back in November 2018, it examines the large number of visitors that National Parks have seen over the last view years, how that number seems to be increasingly annually, and how they are impacting the land.
For myself, I find this to be frightening because the purpose of the National Forest and Park system was created to protect areas that are so unique and eloquent in their natural beauty as they are being endangered as more and more people visit each year.
With that stated, Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Area is one of those places that is off the beaten path and not nearly as famous as other areas in the Southwest. For those who have the chance to visit this place, as a stated already, leave no trace.
By far the best approach to Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah would be by highway 57, which forks from the Blanco Trading Post and reaches the trail after 18 miles of driving. It had been paved for a few miles but the ground was strongly diminished. Some of the dirt roads are smooth, while others are a bit rougher on vehicles. It can strongly be recommend that you should attempt to drive on any route if there has been any type of weather that could affect road conditions. At times, had I not been paying attention, I would have gotten stuck in the mud.
Also, be mindful of wild/feral horse in the areas surrounding the road. During each time I have been to Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah, I encounter a few horse as I was driving to my destination.
Overall, the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Area has several features that aren’t very common in terms of erosion and the landscape. And while the hoodoos are the most attractive feature of the area, when visiting Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah you may stumble upon fossils and petrified wood.