|Groom and Bride at their engagement session|
|Alien Planet: Dramatic skies with orange and purple reflected light shone|
over Lake Powell's Dungeon Canyon
Dungeon Canyon is near Rainbow Bridge. It's pretty small and cannot give anchorage to more than a handful of boaters. This year I found a good beach to anchor a boat and enjoyed some family time. Storms threatened but did not truly strike until the final day. With these storms came some dramatic skies. One evening the sky shone bright orange long before the last light of sunset. I grabbed my camera with its' 16-35mm wide angle lens and began searching for a good photography subject to match the dramatic skies. Half-submerged rocky islands seemed most interesting and so I shot multiple compositions until I felt I'd found something I liked, which ended up being balanced from left to right.
|Rocket Tower: ruins of some unknown structure now left standing along the train tracks|
on the east side of the Salton Sea.
The biggest drawback is the stench of rotting fish which grows quite strong as you near the water. I can only describe the smell this way: imagine dumping 1,000 cans of tuna fish into 100 porta-potties and then sticking your nose into the worst-smelling part. That's the Salton Sea smell!
But if you can bear the smell, there is much to discover. Bombay Beach community has lots of ruined buildings and some that are inhabited (by those with no sense of smell). I found it pretty busy with people, kids, photographers and other gawkers. Further on down the line I liked my roadside rocket and Niland Marina beach park. These were totally deserted, abandoned and more photogenic. I lingered at the Roadside Rocket for a sunset which didn't disappoint. This was my favorite discovery at the Salton Sea.
|Another view of Rocket Tower ruins. The desert is perfect for this crazy stuff.|
|Niland Marina ruins along the Salton Sea|
Gordon's hike rating:
Hike Difficulty: ★ Easy
Trail Condition: ★★★ Good
Trail Hazards: ★★ Mild: Old buildings, Horrible Stench of Salton Sea
Trailhead: Roadside attractions
Time Required: 1-2 hours
Distance round trip: n/a
Off the Beaten Path: ★★★ Mostly, 3 Stars
Scenery: ★★ Fair, 2 Stars
Photographic Potential: ★★★ Good, 3 Stars
|Black Canyon of the Colorado River: Adventure Report:|
Cactus and the Colorado River: The morning photography here was awesome with so much contrast in light, dark, texture and time.
1. Permit from US Government
2. Canoe or kayak
3. Transportation to the launching and pickup points
4. Camping gear and food
5. Waterproof bags for hydrophobic gear (camera)
Transportation to the launch site is limited to a few outfitters who have clearance from the US Government to visit the river just below the Hoover Dam. Keeping the dam safe is the major concern of the government here. Photo ID is required at check in with the outfitter. If you have all that, then you can move forward with the fun part.
|Hoover Dam as seen from the launching point. |
This begins your adventure down Black Canyon.
|Palm Spring Waterfall: the water is|
hot like a shower!
Other hot springs are located on the Nevada side of the river but I didn't visit them. Instead my next stop was the premier attraction of this canyon: Arizona Hot Spring. Arizona Hot Spring is so awesome it's hard to believe in its' existence: three hot soaking pools . . . in a slot canyon . . . a short hike up from the Colorado River . . . where you can camp . . . and visit the pools day or night . . . in the middle of the desert . . . and you just might have it all to yourself! Do you see what I mean? It's too good to be true yet it is true.
I camped here with my group. There is a bathroom/outhouse here. Otherwise there are no camping services. Two groups were camping here on the gravel and small river rocks away from the Colorado River. Bring a pad for comfort. We visited the springs that afternoon and shared them with some hikers who came down from the road (a long hike). Later that night and the next morning the springs were completely empty and serene. The hike up to the springs includes one very fun metal ladder that is bolted into the sandstone.
|The warm water in the trail gets your feet wet and|
warm before you reach the ladder.
|Ladder in the slot canyon leading up to|
the first soaking pool.
|The ladder will wobble and shake a little when you|
climb it. The hot springs are on top.
|Camping at Arizona Hot Springs in the Black Canyon is on gravel.|
|Black Canyon high view over the Colorado River|
|Morning Views over the River|
|I hiked up above Arizona Hot Springs. The sandstone colors and curves|
somehow blend with sharp lava rock and creates a desert weird
|Back on the River in our canoe: Floating Black Canyon of Colorado River.|
|Emerald Pool, also known as Emerald Cave, is a photography dream to|
visit but also is very challenging to shoot. The glowing green color is REAL!
|Storm Clouds gathering at the exit of Black Canyon|
My adventure took place in the month of April and the weather was pretty ideal. I've heard the summer trips can be too hot to really enjoy the hot springs.