I have hiked and photographed the slot canyons of Anza Borrego Desert State Park often, and they remain fascinating. The floods, earthquakes and rockfalls that shape them are rare, and so these slits in the desert landscape appear almost static. The only seasonal difference in them is the light and color, depending on the angle of the sun and the time of day. Stepping into these canyons is almost like stepping out of time.
A late season storm brought good amounts of rain and unusually cold temperatures to Southern California – including the deserts. My friend Tracy and I jumped at the opportunity for a good desert outing in early May. We went to the north-eastern corner of Anza Borrego, one of my favorite spots in the park.
My photo of the month for January 2016 is from a desert hike (in fact, the only desert hike I did so far during this cold season) in the Coyote Mountains Wilderness (archive link – 12 more posts are available from that area now!). Two of my friends and I did the loop hike that includes the “Domelands“, the rough Slot Canyon down into a fossil-rich part of the Carrizo Badlands, and back through Anvil Canyon.
Going through the photos from early in 2015 I saw some color images from Andrade Canyon that I had marked as picks but then put aside as I compiled and processed the images for the black & white post from the place. These images are maybe more of a personal nature – it is the mid of July and when I look at them I feel an instant longing to go there again, despite the slight difficulties that we faced on our hike. I have the feeling that there are many more photos in there to be made.
It’s sometimes funny how the photographic eye keeps being attracted to the same thing over and over again. I’ve been to this slot canyon (the south-western one of Middle Fork Palm Wash) quite a number of times now, and each time, I stop more or less at this particular spot, where the canyon makes an elegant curve and the beautiful lines in the soft sandstone just draw you in.
I guess my pick for April’s photo of the month isn’t really a surprise for those who have been reading my blog posts in the past couple of days. It’s “Vortex” from the slot canyon below the “Domelands” area of Coyote Mountains Wilderness.
On my second attempt, I found the slot canyon below the “Domelands” area of the Coyote Mountains Wilderness. While it was cloudy and rainy west of the mountains and along the coast, it was mostly sunny in the desert, and we reached the canyon at a time when the sun already was or began to shine almost directly into it. The possibilities to photograph it were thus somewhat limited, but it was great finding it nevertheless.