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View from Angel Peak campground
Photo credit: —Barb Belknap

Take a break at Angel Peak

—Ty Belknap

You may have seen Angel Peak off to the east of US 550. It marks the end of the first leg or beginning of the last leg in the journey to Four Corners. After a day of recreating or sightseeing, it’s a good place to take a break.

The Angel Peak Scenic Area is a BLM recreation area that includes more than ten thousand acres of rugged terrain—badlands and deep canyons. Access off of 550 is marked by a small brown BLM sign on the side of the road that is easily missed at seventy mph. There are three picnic areas and nine free campsites on the canyon rim overlooking Angel Peak and the Kutz Canyon badlands, along six miles of graded county road 7175. The sites have vault toilets, but no water.

Last month, the light gray shale and mudstone peak was illuminated by a full “super” moon. The lights of Bloomfield were visible to the north, and the surrounding oilfield hummed and clanked. There was a slight petroleum odor in the air. Nobody else was there.

However bizarre and beautiful, it’s not much of a vacation destination, but it sure beats a three-hour drive down the Via de la Muerte late at night.


Tent Rocks National Monument winter hours

—Jackie Leyba

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, including the Slot Canyon, Cave Loop, and Veterans’ Memorial Loop Trail, and the Veterans’ Memorial Scenic Overlook, will be closed to visitors on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Beginning November 1 and continuing through March 10, the Monument is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with gates closed to entry at 4:00 p.m.

The Monument begins closing procedures at 3:00 p.m. by closing the Veterans’ Memorial Scenic Overlook, and continues by closing the Slot Canyon trail starting from the top of the Trail at 3:30 p.m. The Cave Loop Trail closes at the junction of the Slot Canyon and Cave Loop Trailhead starting at 4:00 p.m.

Monument Rangers ensure all visitors safely arrive to the main parking area no later than 4:30 p.m. in preparation for closure no later than 5:00 p.m. All visitors must exit no later than 5:00 p.m. Currently, dogs are not allowed past the fee booth, although service animals are welcome. For more information on the Monument, call 331-6259.

 
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