There are so many extraordinary things about Aztec! We constantly boast about our fabulous events, top-shelf recreation, enviable climate, rich history and eclectic, small-town pleasures. Yet there is one Aztec asset most locals don’t know much about: the massive collection of nearby sandstone arches. You know… the kind that when hollowed out by moisture form a natural “rock rainbow.” So far, over 300 arches of varying size and grandeur have been discovered and every single one is within an hour’s drive of Aztec.
Without question, these arches are some of Mother Nature’s finest works. Some will leave you breathless, while others will make you grin and chuckle. One has earned the name “Octopus” due to a similarity to that multi tentacle mollusk, while another – the “Alien” – features a spooky, bulging-eyes stare. Some are no larger than an office desk, while others are big enough to drive a train through. And several, quite sadly, are destined to last for a very short time due to erosion.
Falling arches are part of the natural cycle. However, full-span bridges are continually being found, photographed and cataloged. Most are found amongst the desert badlands east of Aztec, an expansive, public-lands landscape of water-carved canyons, stunted piñon trees, blowing sagebrush and blossoming cactus. This remote desert is ideal for concealing arches, but due to the explosive construction and expansion of oil-and-gas roads, they’re being revealed almost on a weekly basis by walkabout hikers, horseback riders and four-wheelers.
For photo enthusiast, it’s an awesome opportunity to see nature at work, both in sandstone and in wildlife.”
Told you… Aztec is extraordinary!
To see more of Aztec, New Mexico’s extraordinary natural beauty, watch the video below or CLICK HERE FOR MORE VIDEOS