I went to northwest New Mexico in early fall 2011. The light was best at the fabulous Chaco Culture National Historical Park. I had much more trouble at the Bisti Badlands and Shiprock. Climbing in the Great Sand Dunes was not easy. I got a taste of the area, and plan another trip soon, during which I will try to "time" the weather a bit better (i.e.good photographic weather rather than blue skies). Check out the more than fabulous Badlands website developed by Michael Richie.