Arroyo Tapiado: Slot Canyon Within Slot Canyon

January 2017 Photo Of The Month: Slot Canyon Within Slot Canyon

My January 2017 Photo Of The Month is Slot Canyon Within Slot Canyon, an image made in the Arroyo Tapiado area of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Arroyo Tapiado: Slot Canyon Within Slot Canyon

Slot Canyon Within Slot Canyon by T.M. Schultze

Slot Canyon Within Slot Canyon Background

This image was made while on a trip with my good friend Chris Horn. We came from the snows of the Laguna Mountains down to the lowlands in Anza Borrego to look for something dramatic. With the incredible and consistent rains from the 2016 – 2017 La Nina season, we ended up with something cool. A new channel within one of the Arroyo Tapiado slot canyons.

Eventually this small canyon will erode and widen until the channel roughly merges with the parent canyon.  This process will continue and continue, despite being in such an arid environment.  Even in the harsh desert, water carves, smooths, and shapes many of the features and formations we see and enjoy.

Proceed with caution anytime you are in a slot canyon, especially near a storm season. Some of the mud was indeed soft, and collapses happen all the time around the mud caves. What is beautiful and rustic can be devastating at any moment.  I haven’t heard of too many injuries in the mud caves, but the potential always exist.  Narrow canyons elsewhere in the Southwest have cumulatively claimed thousands of lives.  Don’t be one of them.

Now with that out of the way, exploring the slot canyons was amazing, yet, my favorite image was made at the canyon’s mouth to Arroyo Tapiado, as weather and water create a newer channel.  I think it is rather striking, and I am proud that it is this month’s Photo Of The Month.

As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image.

Further Viewing

Photos of the Month Portfolio

T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.

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