Growing a Slot Canyon

April 25, 2015  •  2 Comments

   This image was created during a hike with Alex Kunz in one of the Wilderness areas of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  The 1 meter pit you see will someday, in the distant future, be the new canyon floor.  The canyon itself was around 100 yards long and in some places you could 'crab walk' over the collapsed areas and in others you had to just jump in and walk on the new floor.  It was pretty narrow, making photography difficult and using a tripod frustrating.  
   It's quiet here.  In solitude I think it would be disturbingly quiet.  It's an unfamiliar stillness. 
   The air is dry and clean save the occasional dusting of sand kicked up by a light breeze.  I think we missed the best light but you could still catch a glimpse of a soft warmth reflecting off a bending wall. 
   The linear protrusions along the canyon wall appear to be the remains of previous floors whose softer sandstone has been washed out through eons of erosion.  I've been through more mature Anza-Borrego slots and can now better appreciate what it took to 'grow' them to their current size and depth.  Even with little appreciation for geology these formations will leave you with a weighty sense of reverence and wonder.  
   Alex mentioned he will not publicly note the exact location of this slot in his accounts so I've edited my blog to respect that.  It's not a 'secret' by any means and many have made the trek out there but you really have to want to get there and those who truly want to see it will probably be the ones who will respect what they find.  Yet, I'm sure it won't be too long before we find empty beer cans and names carved into the sandstone by the witless oafs who see the world as their dumpster.  But, for now, it's as it should be.  

Adolecent Slot CanyonAdolecent Slot Canyon


John Cannon(non-registered)
How long did the hike take you - to and from where you parked when you arrived to get to inside the slot canyon? How hot was it in the desert outside the shade of the canyon walls? It looks like it would be a difficult hike to carry a water, some food, a tripod and somewhat heavy camera equipment particularly over uneven terrain.

My wife wants to go to Paria Canyon and photograph "The Wave" so we will probably start applying for the lottery to go there next year (I don't have much vacation this year). The chance of winning is 4% in most months but it can be 20% in January (I can't do January 2016, but maybe January 2017). I'm not sure we are in shape to make the hike though so we need to train to get ready. In Florida, we walk on sand so it's easy. Walking on rocks is another matter expecially when carrying a heavy back back.
Alexander S. Kunz(non-registered)
Unsurprisingly, I have almost exactly the same photo. :) I like and appreciate the words you found to go along with the image. Nicely done.
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