Plaza Blanca (The White Place), New Mexico

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)

The entrance sign to the Plaza Blanca, New Mexico.“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.”

The entrance trail.There’s more than one direction to hike into the area but this well worn path seemed to be the most popular.

The central drainage of the plaza.The trail leads into the main drainage of the plaza which shows signs of serious flash floods and erosion.

Cottonwood trees grow in the central drainage.Enough water is captured in the central drainage to support the needs of New Mexico cottonwood trees.

Close-up of the light colored rock of the White Place.A close-up of the fragile rock on the way to one of the slot canyons.

Hard rock close-up of Plaza Blanca.After some research about “The White Place” the rock of it’s formations and slots is white limestone.

Hiking one of the slots.The water carved slots invite you in for a bit of exploring.

The climb up and out.If you don’t have climbing skills you might consider turning around here, the next on is a real doozy.

Water carved landscape.The softer layers erode into bizarre formations.

They are called hoodoos.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.The amazing architecture is all around.

The eroded landscape.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.

Limestone formation of the Plaza Blanca.The rocks in the foreground were of many types, granite, quartz, basalt and more. I wonder how they all got here?

The hoodoos on the White Place.More hoodoos.

Hoodoo landscape.Upon exiting be sure a look back.

Cholla cactus and the white limestone.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.

About Britt Runyon

A New Mexico based free roaming outdoor digital photographer, always on the qui vive for what Nature and humans provide.
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