Red Rock Canyon State Park

November 2004

Many times while driving into the desert I would be cruising down the 14 by Mojave and drive through Red Rock Canyon. The road was cradled by eroded formations with folds like fine draperies. I had never stopped, however, always being on the way to get somewhere or returning home. One weekend I decided that the time had come; I would finally make Red Rock Canyon a destination.

With the clouds threatening rain in the north, I got into my car and drove on out to the desert for a beautiful day in the upper 60s. I drove past the yuccas and octillo and the land began to turn shades of reds and pinks. The turnoff was just ahead. I parked and then went out hiking. After about a mile the trails ended, leaving me to freely wander in and out of canyons, washes, and ridges. I was totally alone in the canyons, save for a bird or two flying along. Following the main wash I was greeted by an otherworldly landscape around every bend. The strangely eroded mud was like stone, making it easy to scramble upon. Every small sidewash had different formations, some with balancing rocks, others with hoodoo-like formations, and others with dark volcanic buttes jutting upwards towards the sky. There were many places I could see from ridges but could not find the right way down.

I wandered for hours in the canyons until the shadows grew long and it was time to go. For such a small area I was amazed at how much there is to see. Each rain must change the land from the patterns in the dust to new formations arising from the ground. This is a place to which I must return.

The Photographs

The pictures were taken with my Minolta system starting with a roll of Kodachrome PKR 64 followed by a roll of Kodachrome PKL 200. Unfortunately I lost my pen after the first couple of shots, so I was unable to write down lens settings for everything. Click "Next" in the upper right to begin.