Monday, 4 August 2008

Grotto Canyon

Amazingly, we had never been up this short hike in a canyon directly across the valley from our new place. We had a few hours to kill, so opted to go exploring.

The narrow canyon is hone to a raging creek for about 1 week of the year. The rest of the time it's just a spring fed trickle. The "hike" is actually mostly in the creekbed itself, since it's so narrow.

The sheer canyon walls are popular with climbers, and if you look carefully, you can find lots of permanent protection points bolted to the rock face.

The creek narrowly twists and turns then reaches a T junction. Most of the water in the creek comes from a short fork to the right, leaving to the left more narrow canyon, only with virtually no water in it. Soon, the canyon widens, and there's piles of material trying to turn into hoodoos -- or caves.

This is about as far as we went, but you can wander another km or so up the creek bed. I think where we stopped was a popular lunch spot, as we found balancing rock sculpture here.

The other attraction in this hike is aboriginal rock paintings. They're hard to find, partially vandalized, shellacked over to protect them, but still neat to see.

All in all, an interest, fairly effortless short hike that crowded with people.

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