Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Blue Canyon, Arizona

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Blue Canyon, Arizona
Blue Canyon is a lengthy, cliff-bound section of Moenkopi Wash in northeast Arizona, part of a branched drainage system that also includes Coal Mine Canyon, Ha Ho No Geh Canyonand Bat Canyon, all cutting into soft, multicolored, sedimentary rocks on the east edge of the Painted Desert near Moenkopi. This remote, uninhabited region spans the border between the Navajo and Hopi reservations, and has become more well known in recent years owing to the incredible array of badlands and eroded rock formations, impressive on both large and small scales; from colorful, sheer-walled ravines with convoluted walls, to tiny hoodoos and innumerable other intricate forms. Blue Canyon is good for smaller features; although quite a long drainage (15 miles), most is through rather featureless badlands containing patches of bluish clay and scattered groups of hoodoos, but without much of interest. The section usually visited is at the downstream end, where the canyon is crossed by Indian Route 7; here the sandstone is red and white rather than blue, but the colors are combined in many contrasting ways, and the rocks are eroded into an amazing assortment of rounded or pointed shapes. The region is similar to Goblin Valley in Utah but has the added attraction of color variation.

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