Now site back for a long winded story about a trip to the badlands of New Mexico. A trip which in the beginning had a completely different objective.

Our goal was not Angel Peak Scenic Area at all. In fact it was a third back up for the trip and has often been overlooked because of other more photogenic badlands located in this section of New Mexico. Our main objective was a rock formation called Tea Kettle Rock.

It started like all trips into the Badlands from Dallas. Long and boring. But this time with this time with a major flare up of heart burn. This pain lasted all night long during the 12 hour drive. But finally subsided by 7am as we were venturing into the mountain areas north of Albuquerque. We took the scenic long forest roads that switch backed us closer to our destination. To our surprise, there were still areas of snow around. Well as we came around a corner protected against any sunlight, there was a huge snow drift which called out to our driver for some reason to head straight for it.

I cried out to stay to the left, but the corner was too sharp and we were upon it too fast for him to really give it much though. But there we were, seasoned, experienced explorers trapped in 2 feet of compacted ice. Did we have any tools with us like a tow strap, shovel or chains? – NO.

We spend 5 hours trying to dig ourselves out, using large sticks and our bare hands. I did find a mile marker sign and broke it off to use as a shovel. 5 hours later, a guy in a jeep came across us and was nice enough to help out. He had a tow strap and with a little more digging, we were finally free.  But all of this ruined our goal for reaching Tea Kettle Rock since the route was still blocked by snow.

Angel Peak Scenic Area, New Mexico


Already reaching other badland areas in my past travels and still lots of daylight to explore, we went to check out the views of Angel Peak.

The views were great, the light and sky was working to our favor, so we decided to stay. No hiking involved, just pull up and take a great shot.  As we drove along the rim looking for the best vantage spot, the chosen one was one of the first ones we came across as we entered the area.

Angel Peak Scenic Area, New Mexico


Originally, we started shooting much closer to the main Peak area, but I knew the better angle was where we drove in near the entrance. As light was changing fast, we drove as fast as we could to the better location and ended up with the images you are seeing here.

We stayed here throughout sunset and the moon rise was just icing on the cake for what started out as a horrible trip.

Angel Peak Scenic Area, New Mexico