Although on private land, the Dar Al Islam education center and mosque welcomes visitors who wish to hike and view the awe inspiring landscapes. This landscape is best known from some of Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting or maybe from the many motion pictures which have used it as a backdrop. This landscape lies in a valley of the Rio Chama hills near the village of Abiquiu. O’Keeffe made a series of paintings about the area she called “The White Place”, or in Spanish “Plaza Blanca”.
(click on any image to enlarge)
“You are welcome to enjoy the Plaza Blanca, White Place. Because of it’s fragile shapes and forms, it is necessary to walk lightly on the lands.”
There’s more than one direction to hike into the area but this well worn path seemed to be the most popular.
The trail leads into the main drainage of the plaza which shows signs of serious flash floods and erosion.
Enough water is captured in the central drainage to support the needs of New Mexico cottonwood trees.
A close-up of the fragile rock on the way to one of the slot canyons.
After some research about “The White Place” the rock of it’s formations and slots is white limestone.
The water carved slots invite you in for a bit of exploring.
If you don’t have climbing skills you might consider turning around here, the next on is a real doozy.
The softer layers erode into bizarre formations.
The large, harder cap rock atop this hoodoo creates a cap on this limestone formation. The softer rock below the cap rock erodes faster.
The amazing architecture is all around.
The eroded landscape could make one think they were walking on the moon. Note the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Sante Fe National Forest can be seen in the background.
The rocks in the foreground were of many types, granite, quartz, basalt and more. I wonder how they all got here?
Upon exiting be sure a look back.
The cholla cactus is just one of several varieties you must watch out for on you hike. So now it’s your turn to head out to Plaza Blanca for an awe inspiring afternoon hike.
Thanks for stopping in!
Feel free to leave a comment. Visit my website of New Mexico images here.