When I checked in, I was disappointed because I expected a canyon instead of the wide gorge I found. This morning, I took out my trash and chatted a long time with the late-arriving couple and a lady ranger about the place. She pointed out a short walk to the slot canyons in the day use area nearby. So, I went back home, got my water and fanny pack, and off I went!
They had only an inch of rain this week, but even that is a lot for this area. You can see the dampness in this wash I had to walk across.
The ground here is a mixture of sand and mud. Here is what my shoe looked like when I stepped in a muddy stretch of the path. Stamping your feet does not remove this stuff. I had to find a rock and scrape it off--about 3/4 of an inch on both shoes. Should have saved it to make a pot!
This is a water tower that was built by the CCC in the 30s. Unfortunately, the water was so alkaline, they had to cap it off a year later and run water pipes from a nearby town.
You can tell from this flood "apron" that the bluffs are made of very soft rock--actually more like just stacked mud and sand. You can grab pieces and pull it off very easily.
Another place where water has been eroding the bluff. As soft as this stuff is, it does not take much rain to cause erosion, but then again, they get very little rain here.
This is a closeup of the fine silt at the bottom of the bluff. Seriously, you could easily make this into pots and fire them.
Notice how the top of the bluff is different from the bottom structure. There is a horizontal line of harder rock dividing the two.
The wash shows you where the slot canyon is in the bluff. Slot canyons are formed when water erodes through cliffs.
The opening to the slot canyon.
This slot canyon branched near the end into three dead ends. And the total length is probably not more than 75', so no chance of getting lost.
Most slot canyons I have seen have been made out of relatively hard sandstone. This stuff if really just a mud mixture. You can see here how the water has run down the far end and polished it.
Back outside. You can tell where the water rushed out just a day or two ago.
Looking out towards the campground.
Someday, maybe this will be a slot canyon. Right now, it is just a 4" by 6" hole where water is coming out when it rains.
Had to cut across the dry creek again on the way home, but you can see how wet it still is from the rain. Luckily, it was sandy here, so no big clumps of mud to scrape off my shoes.