Farmington not only offers plenty of attractions but also acts as a convenient launchpad for exploring the broader Four Corners region. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or adventure, there are several day trips from Farmington that offer unique experiences.
Let’s explore some of your day trip options (that aren’t the Four Corners National Monument), from the ancient ruins at Chaco Canyon to the stunning landscapes of Bisti Badlands and the beauty of Navajo Lake State Park.
Aztec Ruins National Monument (~30 minutes from Farmington)
Just a short drive from Farmington, the Aztec Ruins National Monument offers a fascinating glimpse into the ancient Puebloan culture. This well-preserved archaeological site features a variety of structures, including a reconstructed Great Kiva, a large semi-subterranean structure used for rituals and ceremonies.
A visit to the Aztec Ruins provides a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the history of the Ancestral Puebloan people.
Navajo Lake State Park (Less than an hour from Farmington)
A little further beyond the San Juan River Quality Waters fishing area is the spot that makes it possible: Navajo Lake State Park. This state park offers a wide range of activities, including:
Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or just want to enjoy a peaceful day in nature, Navajo Lake State Park offers a perfect setting for outdoor lovers seeking a memorable day trip, similar to what you might experience in national parks.
Shiprock (~1 hour from Farmington)
For a truly unique experience, a trip to Shiprock should be on your list. This sacred mountain rises dramatically above the flat desert landscape, creating a striking silhouette against the New Mexico sky.
As a sacred site to the Navajo Nation, Shiprock offers more than just its natural beauty; it also provides a unique insight into the spiritual beliefs of the Native American culture. Please note that climbing on or approaching the formation is illegal, and Shiprock should be viewed from the road.
Bisti Badlands (~1.25 hours from Farmington)
The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area, or Bisti Badlands, located south of Farmington, offer a unique hiking destination. With its other-worldly rock formations and stunning landscapes, this wilderness area is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a casual walker, the Bisti Badlands will leave you in awe of the natural beauty that northwestern New Mexico has to offer.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park at Chaco Canyon (~1.5 hours)
Last but not least, the Chaco Cultural National Historical Park, located in Chaco Canyon, is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history and culture of the Ancestral Puebloan people. This UNESCO World Heritage site showcases the impressive architecture of the Pueblo people and offers a wide range of educational programs.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply interested in learning about different cultures, the Chaco Cultural NHP is a fascinating day trip option from Farmington.
These are just a few of the national monuments and parks close to Farmington. Expand your travel radius out, and you can add places like Mesa Verde National Park, Hovenweep National Monument, Cortez Cultural Center, Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, and many more!