Photo of the Week | Little White Horse Canyon

Every Friday I will be posting a Photo of the Week. Here I’ll be sharing the details on how I got the shot, where I was, and the backstory that went into it. I hope you find this enjoyable, and helpful in your own photography.

Displaying IMG-7297.jpg
Camera: Cannon EOS Rebel T3i
Lens: EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II
ISO: 400 18mm f/6.3 1/100s

Over Memorial Day Weekend, a group of friends and I headed down to the Goblin Valley. We planned to spend the Saturday exploring the slot canyons around the San Rafael Swell, then go mountain biking or climbing on Sunday, and head out on Monday after a few hikes. After much debate on which slot canyon to hike. Some wanted to hike Crack Canyon, others thought about some tighter slot canyons. We settled on Little White Horse Canyon.

I’d never hiked through a slot canyon before, and was a little concerned about how much rain we had over the previous week. We weren’t sure how much stagnant water would be in the canyon and how deep it could get. Not because I was worried about the swim, but because I really wanted to bring my camera along! Luckily, there was no water that we couldn’t just jump over.

The hike starts where the road ends, just outside of Goblin Valley State Park. It follows a big loop, up Little White Horse Canyon and returns down Bell Canyon. Round trip, it’s about 9-10miles and around 1,000ft of climbing. And when we finally got a mile into the canyon, it started to get more and more narrow. We had entered the slot portion of the canyon. It never got too tight, but we definitely had to squeeze through a few sideways.

We wandered through the sandstone maze. The early morning light bounced off the walls, brining out the range of warm colors in the spectrum. The light first hits the top of the canyon wall, yellow and tan. Eventually, it reaches the canyon floor, passing through the reds, and into the dark browns. The textures from all the water that has passed down the canyon over the years, digging further and deeper. So detailed, and unique. With the sand being the only thing remembers our footsteps through time.

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