Secret Slot Canyon in Big Bend

Big Bend is famous for the three big canyons on the Rio Grande.  Santa Elena, Mariscal, and Boquillas are all big and spectacular.    A few people are familiar with Hot Springs Canyon or Tuff Canyon but that is about it.  However, there are more canyons in Big Bend that are either ignored or unknown.

Over the years I have found a few off the beaten path canyons to explore.  One of which I cover in this blog as the Secret Canyon and which I refer to as the 1819 Canyon.  Well this year I found another neat little canyon.  This one was somewhat of a slot canyon.  Maybe 40 feet deep and often just a width of five feet across the bottom.

I thank Google Maps for this one.  I was looking over features in the park and noticed what I thought might be a little canyon.  I decided it was worth exploring although I had no idea what I might find.  I even warned my friends that we were going on a hike but I had no idea if it would be neat or nothing much.

It was seriously neat!

This is another canyon that I am sure others have found but it is not mentioned in any book or guide.  It is also not listed on maps.  I have never seen images from it on the web either.  

It was something new, different and fun to try.

The canyon is only a couple of hundred yards long at best.  There are a few obstacles to climb over.  It was still very much a neat little place.

It was one I also decided to visit at night.

After photographing the Milky Way at some locations near camp, I decided to walk into the canyon and see if I could get any images with the Milky Way and the canyon.  It was very dark in the canyon but the Milky Way was already fading in the night sky as dawn approached.

I would walk and set up a shot trying to capture the stars while light painting the canyon wall.  I made several images as I went deeper into the canyon.  Finally the night sky was fading blue when I reached the biggest obstacle.

Knowing that I could climb over it but not while carrying the camera and tripod, I decided discretion was the better part of valor and I made one last image looking down canyon.

I am very impressed with this little canyon and always like finding hidden little gems like this in the park.  You can spend a lifetime here and still find these out of the way locations.  Already looking forward to exploring it more on the next trip.


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