New Mexico Badlands: Lybrook

IMG_5825-EditIn researching on the web and corresponding with other online parties with a love for the badlands, I learned enough about the area around Cuba, NM, to decide on that as the headquarters for my annual whirlwind Spring Break photo expedition.

Cuba sits at the center of a complex of badland terrains of amazing extent and diversity. Kudos to the folks at PhotoTrekNM for getting the information organized in one very useful website.

After the marathon 14 hour drive from Dallas, I checked in at the Frontier Motel and crashed for the night after enjoying a delicious Mexican dinner at El Bruno’s. The next morning I decided to drive to the Lybrook overlook, using the German language directions found on Westernlady’s World. (Thanks, Google Translate!)

Rugged terrain (far) below

Rugged terrain (far) below

It’s a good thing I made note of the mileage info between turns, because the maze of dirt roads encountered after the turnoff from Hwy. 550 turned out to be quite confusing. I’m not sure I would have found the overlook had it not been for these directions β€” it would undoubtedly have taken me quite a lot of backtracking and second-guessing.

Waterpocket. No water.

Waterpocket. No water.

Unfortunately the day was clear, as so many New Mexico days tend to be β€” great for enjoying the outdoors, not so wonderful for photography. But we roll with the punches when our time on site is limited, and I had only two full days to explore the region.

An incredible maze of badlands stretches for mile after mile on the valley floor below.

An incredible maze of badlands stretches for mile after mile on the valley floor below.

As mentioned on another excellent website, there is no way down from the overlook into the actual badlands, which must be accessed from secondary (and lesser!) roads farther NW. Having savored the view from above, that will definitely be on my agenda for a future trip.

Rock with moss

Rock with moss

Close to the edge

Close to the edge

Still life with stick

Still life with stick

Under the rim

Under the rim

The diving board

The diving board

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9 thoughts on “New Mexico Badlands: Lybrook

  1. I like how you incorporated a person running through the desert landscape to give a sense of scale to these beautiful natural rock formations. I lived on the Navajo Indian Reservation during an internship in my younger days and this looks like the landscape I remember. I wish I had taken more photographs back then. These are stunning.

  2. Pingback: New Mexico Badlands: San Jose (the B&W post) | Arthouse Photography

  3. Pingback: In Praise of Place: Lybrook Badlands, Part 2 | Arthouse Photography

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