Sunday, March 22, 2015

Minnie Grand Canyon or Painted Desert, it’s your choice. 03-22-15


Dennis M met us at the fire station north of town around 9:00 and we followed him to the intersection of 95 and 72 where we turned left and met up with his friend, Ron.
From there we drove about two miles toward Parker where we turned left on a dirt road heading toward some mountains and sand hills.


We stopped at a large parking area just outside the Colorado River Indian Reservation that ATV’ers use as a staging area. We left Ron’s truck here and he got into Dennis’s jeep. We drove north through a wash to a trail that climbs up onto the sandy hills.


We climbed a soft sandy trail to the top of the hills. From here we could see highway 72/95 to the east.


To the west we could see the trail winding around the low hills.


We followed this trail for a while.


Enjoying the views to the west where we could see the farmland between the hills and the Colorado River.


We followed this narrow trail to a fantastic view of a hidden canyon with spectacular colors and formations. It was like a small version of the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert all in one.


We spent some time here looking into the wash below us and taking it all in.


I really didn’t expect to see something like this behind these otherwise drab sandy hills.
Time and water some times does some amazing things in the desert even though this place is usually dry; the only water coming with infrequent winter rains and the summer monsoons.


The time scale here is some times hard to grasp.

We drove to a couple of other overlooks where we could see into this wash and more colorful canyon walls.


Eventually we worked our way into the wash and viewed the walls of the canyons from a different perspective.



We continued driving near the cliffs into a smaller canyon.


We stopped at a place where the jeeps could go no further.


From here we had to walk into a narrow steep sided gorge.


The gorge got narrower as we continued walking.

In some places it looked like a tunnel going into the mountain but it was still open to the sky.


I took a side canyon for a little ways but came back to the main one and joined the others.


Here is Patti exploring the canyon with us.


Eventually we came to a place where the way became very steep with lots of boulders we would have had to climb over to continue. We turned around here but the canyon continued.


We arrived back at the jeeps and drove out of the painted canyon and eventually got back to the highway and headed for home. There is more to explore here but it will have to wait for another time.


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