Guide to Lesser Known Colorado Plateau Sites Encourages Tours and Environmental Awareness ”Albuquerque Journal

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ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Bill Haggerty, author of “Discovering the Colorado Plateau: A Guide to the Region’s Hidden Wonders,” thinks “hidden” in the subtitle actually means “less visited.” “

The book deliberately avoids busy public land destinations on the plateau, such as Grand Canyon National Parks, Bryce, Zion, Mesa Verde, and Capitol Reef. “I made a conscious effort not to write about the bigger ones,” Haggerty said in a telephone interview from his home in Grand Junction, Colorado.

The high desert plateau encompasses 140,000 square miles in chunks of four states – northwestern New Mexico, western Colorado, southern and eastern Utah, and northern Arizona. It is full of wonderful, hidden and famous treasures – national parks, national monuments, wilderness areas, national historic park, millions of acres of national forest, Bureau of Land Management lands, and other protected public property.

Haggerty’s Book is a clear and informative travel guide to the region’s less visited public lands with vivid and illuminated discussions and asides on their history, geography, archeology, geology, culture and politics. All are attractions for hiking, biking, bird watching, rafting or photography. Or just admire the beauty of the landscapes – canyons, mesas, rock formations and ancient ruins.

Bill Haggerty discusses “Discover the Colorado Plateau” at 3pm on Sunday, July 18 at a Zoom event via Bookworks. Go to bkwrks.com/bill-haggerty and click on the “Register here” button.

One chapter in Part 3 (Aztec Ruins National Monument) and four chapters in Part 4 focus on the “hidden” wonders of New Mexico’s public lands. These are the four:

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El Malpais National Monument and National Conservation Area just south of Grants. Malpais translates from Spanish as “badlands”. Haggerty recommends a signing activity in each chapter. For the Malpais, “lava tubing. A tough, bumpy hike through a very dark lava tube (cave-like).

“You haven’t lived until you’ve walked through a lava tube!” »The author writes.

El Morro National Monument. Impressive spiral rock formation known for its many centuries-old inscriptions and engravings. The nearest towns are Gallup and Grants.

Chaco National Historical Culture Park. Hunter-gatherers lived here from 900 BC. It is considered an important pre-Columbian cultural and historical area. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The closest communities are Cuba, Nageezi and Farmington.

Bisti / De-Na-Zin Wilderness area, south of Farmington. The area contains a collection of strange toad-shaped rock formations.

Each chapter in the book provides an overview of public property along with relevant facts such as size, year of establishment, nearest public property, whether fees / permits are required, and whether it is “accepts”. dogs “.

Haggerty writes that the Bisti is “very hot at certain times of the year, no water or shade, and after walking a few kilometers, the rock wreaks havoc on the dogs’ paws”.

It inserts animated boxes. In one, Haggerty recounts that artist Georgia O’Keeffe traveled 150 miles on “horrible dirt roads” from her Ghost Ranch home to Bisti in 1936 and for the next 14 years “to camp, draw and contemplate the nature… “

Each chapter’s signing activity has points relevant to visitors – why to go, trailhead / entrance, trail distance / length, average trail time required, trail difficulty, contact / management agency and special considerations (i.e., water requirements, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and learning GPS).

Haggerty is hoping readers, though locked up for so long during the pandemic, won’t bust out and love the less-traveled wonders to death.

“I hope people reading the book understand environmental sensitivity. You have to walk lightly. Please don’t throw it away, ”he urged.

Working on the book for two years, Haggerty figured he had covered 30,000 miles on his 2015 Toyota Tacoma and 18-foot Airstream trailer.

In addition to being a writer and photographer, he is an conservationist, naturalist, wildlife enthusiast and advocate of public lands.


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