If you’re planning on driving through Farmington, New Mexico on your way to the Four Corners region of the Southwest, we highly recommend adding a few days onto your itinerary. Premium guided outdoor experiences, crisp local wines and craft beer, and plenty of green chili make Farmington a destination not to miss! Fit it all into a long weekend with the following itinerary designed just for the active solo adventurer, friends, or family.
This post was created in partnership with Visit Farmington.
Day 1: Off-Road Like a Local, with the Pros
Spend your first day in Farmington behind the wheel (or in the passenger seat) of an off-road vehicle. You’ll get to explore thousands of acres of public land in Farmington’s backyard playground. The options are endless; perhaps you’ll visit Head Canyon OHV Recreation Area, designed primarily for OHV Motorcross racing. Or, opt for Chokecherry Canyon Glad Run Recreation Area, where sandy arroyos, slick rock, and mountain trails are a rock-crawler’s paradise. Don’t have your own 4×4? Black Bear Unlimited will take you on the ride of a lifetime and their expert team offers a variety of tours.
That evening, treat yourself to a pint of craft beer (or two) and a burger at 3 Rivers Brewery in downtown Farmington. The Pinon Hills Pils washes down particularly well with a green chili bacon cheeseburger! If you’re more interested in sampling New Mexican fare, you might enjoy tucking into a traditional dish at The Chile Pod, or try another one of Farmington’s eateries.
Day 2: Beat the Heat with a Guided Raft Trip
Did you know that Farmington is home to three rivers and four lakes? It’s true—this corner of the Land of Enchantment is anything but dry. Take advantage of a variety of water sports, including guided trips along the Animas River or San Juan River with Desert River Guides, on day two. The local guides will help you customize the experience for your group’s preference. Experienced river rats may select class one and two rapids, while leisure-seekers might prefer a more peaceful float. Alternatively, the 150 miles of shoreline on Navajo Lake are perfect for boaters and paddle boarders looking to navigate calmer waters. No matter which excursion you select, kicking back in the cooler temps on the water is the perfect way to while away the day.
Afterwards, head to another type of watering hole: Wines of the San Juan. Sit back and relax as you sip award-winning wines in a backyard setting beneath the shade of cottonwood trees. Thirsty for more local brews? Lauter Haus Brewing Company is another great option. Locally-owned Clancy’s Irish Cantina and Spare Rib BBQ are popular favorites for flavorful, post-adventure grub!
Day 3: Experience the Best of Bisti Badlands
No trip to Farmington is complete without a visit to Bisti Badlands (also known as De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area, the Navajo words for “cranes”). Spend the better part of day three immersing yourself in this unique landscape. Roughly 60 square miles in size, this otherworldly wilderness area was formed by the elements. Today, it is a playground for modern day explorers. Hoodoos, rock raps, and spires tower overhead; while fossils can be found underfoot (or even up high) by keen observers. It’s possible to explore the Bisti Badlands alone, but the help of a local guide can elevate your experience. Destination Meditation, Journey Into the Past Tours, and Navajo Tours USA come highly recommended.
That afternoon, return home after indulging in another classic Mexican dish and refreshing beverage at Los Hermanitos. (Alternatively, stopping here for a breakfast burrito before your Bisti adventure is a pro move). After three days exploring Farmington, we certainly wouldn’t blame you for planning your next visit before you even depart!