March 20, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Plaza Blanco Badlands Back Country Report from Bill Manns

'Once you drop into the canyon the towering stone hoodoos and formations start to resemble spooky people, cathedrals or out of this world fortresses.'

By Susie Morgan

Hoof Prints in Santa Fe

Susie Morgan is a lifetime lover of horses, the outdoors and lives for adventures. She lives in Las Campanas, and is reconnecting with horses after working 27 years in New York City.

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Yesterday I rode with three friends, Marty Copper, Ray Moreau and Lori DeSantis into the high-desert, Plaza Blanco badlands. This was a first time in there for Marty and Ray, they were beyond impressed. Plaza Blanco is tucked back in a hidden sheer-walled canyon in north central New Mexico. The day started off cold, only 21 degrees but by lunch was in the mid 50s and sunny. It was a wonderful day to be in the saddle; covering outstanding country.  

Once you drop into the canyon the towering stone hoodoos and formations start to resemble spooky people, cathedrals or out of this world fortresses. Some of the towers reach 70’ to 100’ in height. The amazingly ornate cliffs with clusters of towering hoodoos stretch along the cliffs for several miles. The main trail dead-ends in a slot canyon. The formations were born millions of years ago in a mega-explosion that deposited volcanic debris that has been eroding from the interactions of wind and water for thousands of years.

Plaza Blanco or the White Place as she called it, was a favorite painting location for renown New Mexico artist Georgia O'Keeffe. This time of year the weather can switch around a lot and high winds can really ruin a ride. We were lucky this time with grand scenery and mild weather.

Bill Manns with his horse Cody and dog Trey, have been riding the New Mexico backcountry for years. Follow Bills adventures on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bill.manns

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