Photography . . . Travel . . .

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sandstone Canyon, Fish Creek, and the Cactus Garden . . . another day in Anza Borrego

I spent Tuesday in the desert with a friend from the local photo club. We traveled off-road 12.5 miles up sandy Fish Creek Wash to the start of narrow Sandstone Canyon, then another 2.5 miles until you have to turn around and head back the way you came. The geology of the area is quite amazing, and the added bonus of the wildflowers in bloom made for a great photography day.

Here is the "anticline" at Split Mountain, an exposed section of pressure bends in the sandstone. That little green plant has been there for at least the 4 plus years that I've been coming out here, and it has some nice purple flowers right now.

Fish Creek Wash goes from a wide alluvial fan to a narrow cut through Split Mountain (seen below) then back to a wide sandy wash before it narrows again as it approaches Sandstone Canyon.

A few miles in we spotted some nice Desert Lily and what I think are Phacelia.

It's amazing where these things will grow.

Sandstone Canyon gets narrow in places. That rock to the left of the Xterra is a new addition to the canyon floor, it wasn't there in November of 2009 when I was last here.

When I first came here in January of 2006 we drove through this section seen below. More recently it's been closed to vehicles.

The view looking up is pretty cool (just try not to think about that new rock sitting in the middle of the trail, and how it got there).

On the way back out of Sandstone Canyon.

Best to keep hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times. That sandstone may look soft and smooth, but it's like coarse sandpaper.

Back in Fish Creek on our way out we spotted even more interesting geology. I wonder how much longer this thing will be sitting up there.

After airing up the tires in the shade of Split Mountain we made our way over to the Cactus Garden located at the start of the Harper Canyon trail just south of Old Kane Springs Road. By the time we got there the sun was low in the sky, which made for some great lighting. I was in this same spot on Sunday, but at mid-day, with completely different light.

I think the backlit cactus made for some of the best views of the day.

The sun was just setting as we started back to San Diego. I'll probably be back out here on Saturday and Sunday, taking advantage of the weather before it gets too hot.

Click here to see lots more images from Fish Creek, Sandstone Canyon and the Cactus Garden areas of Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

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About Me

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San Diego, California, United States
About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

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All of the content and images on this site (c) Frank B. Baiamonte. If you would like to use any of these images please contact me via email at to discuss terms of usage. Note that images from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are not available for commercial usage. You can also see more on my Instagram page @frankbaiamonte.

Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.