Managed and protected by the Bureau of Land Management, the Lybrook Fossil Area (commonly referred to as the Lybrook Badlands) lies in the Nacimiento sedimentary layer, which is approximately 65 to 55 million years old (Paleocene Period). Its box canyons and riddled mesas drop over 700 feet in elevation with distinct, multi-colored, eroded stair steps.
Through time and erosion, a fantasy world of strange rock formations have been created which for the imaginative mind can lend to some interesting shapes and "characters" provide ample content for the photo enthusiast. Most commonly found in the badlands are clay domes, hoodoos and oddly shaped features. The hoodoos within the Lybrook Badlands tend to be taller and more massive than the hoodoos found in the Bisti or Ah-shi-sle-pah areas. The terrain is also more rugged with steeper slopes and ridges.
There are no facilities located in the Lybrook badlands. Pack out what you pack in. Visitors need to be aware that roads may become impassible during inclement weather. In addition, there is extensive use of oil and gas field trucks in the area and these vehicles have the right-of-way.
Georgia O'Keeffe's Black Place
Located within the northwest portion of the Lybrook Badlands is Georgia O'Keeffe's well renowned "Black Place." Accessible off of U.S. Hwy 550, this particular area fascinated Georgia O'Keeffe and for over a period of fourteen years (from 1936 to 1949), her visits to the "Black Place" sparked a torrent of work that was almost unparalleled in her career.