Slot canyons are amazing places in the way water can cut so deeply and intricately without removing the materials further out and above. They are also great places to hang out when the temperatures are soaring. Fortunately, we are heading into fall, and the relief factor is yielding to the fun of just exploring the desert. This week’s photo comes from Cathedral Gorge State Park in eastern Nevada. Unlike slot canyons in sandstone, these crevices don’t run very long, and are so narrow you have to side-step in a couple places to get through.
Antelope Canyon is one of the most photographed spots in the southwestern US. As you wander through this tight canyon, you can’t help but eventually look towards the sky which is no longer visible. Light tries to find its way to the bottom, and as it does, highlights the textures of the smooth, twisted, sculpted walls.
This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week. Being the first one of the month, there was a theme of From Under. To see what other photographers have contributed, or instructions to join in, please visit Leanne’s website.
A couple days ago, The US National Park Service celebrated its 100th year. Although many parks receive significant traffic, there are still parts of those parks where one can stretch out a little. The east side of Zion NP is one of those spots.
Most visitors to Zion want to see the main canyon and places like Angel’s Landing and The Narrows. As they head up the winding road and through the spectacular tunnels on the way out the east exit, many are on their way to either Bryce or Grand Canyon. There are a couple pullouts along this stretch of road, but few spend time here. Here’s a sample of the features on the upper east side.
I’ve hiked many miles, and early on I discovered I preferred canyon hikes over those on a mountaintop or ridgeline. It’s not just about having shade or water, but more of the adventure of coming around a corner and being amazed with something unexpected. And while canyon exploring tops my list, some canyons are more memorable. Those are the ones where the skies disappear and I might have to take off the pack and step sideways for a moment or two. At that point, it’s hard not to feel enveloped in the land. Sometimes it’s challenging to find an angle to photograph these spots, because there’s no moving around for a better angle, and looking up just yields a washed out image. Whether it’s a slot canyon or just another thin slit in the earth’s crust, sunlight rarely penetrates to the bottom. If it does, the contrast is too much, so the best light is often reflected sunlight.
Here are some of my favorite places to become enveloped:
Top: small side canyon in Zion National Park, Utah
Second: Antelope Canyon, near Page, Arizona
Third: Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada
Fourth: unnamed canyon in Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Enveloped.”