Press "Enter" to skip to content

Crack Canyon

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Crack Canyon Sunburst
Tafoni lines the canyon walls and a sunburst peeks out between two rocks in Crack Canyon.

On Saturday morning Diane and I left home early and drove west into Utah to go hiking in the desert. Our destination was Crack Canyon in the San Rafael Reef which is not too far away from the much more popular Little Wild Horse Canyon and Goblin Valley State Park. After getting off the highway and following Temple Mountain Road through the reef, we took the Behind the Reef Road to Crack Canyon and drove down the wash to the Wilderness Study Area boundary. We parked here and started hiking down the canyon. It was a beautiful canyon with interesting tafoni everywhere and a few short sections of narrows. There was nice reflected light bouncing off the canyon walls so I took my time taking plenty of photos along the way. We hiked through the reef until we reached the intersection with the Chute Canyon Trail where we turned around and returned the way we had come. We didn’t see anyone else all afternoon until we were on our way back to the trailhead, and even then we only ran into a family of four and another solo hiker. The high temperature was probably in the low 50’s and it turned out to be a great day for hiking in the canyon!

There were even a few cottonwood trees in the canyon hanging on to their fall colors.

Canyon Color

Beginning the hike down the canyon before it started to get narrower.

The Beginning

Diane hikes ahead of me.

Into the Canyon

A very cool crack in the sandstone that we got to hike under and through.

Under the Crack

Exiting the crack.


The sun peeks out over the rim of the canyon as it widens out a little.


A short section of narrows with nice light.

Short Narrows

After down-climbing a tricky ledge, Diane poses for a photo.

Diane in Crack Canyon


This is shortly before the canyon exits the San Rafael Reef and starts to open up.

Leaving The Reef

This was the narrowest, deepest and darkest section of slot canyon that we would pass through.

Dark Slot

Large boulders strewn along the wash.


Lines & Light

The Lines

Rough-looking narrows after a short down-climb off the boulder in the foreground.

The First Drop

A twist in the canyon.


A more abstract photo of the lines and textures found in the canyon’s walls.


Another colorful cottonwood tree.

Cottonwood Sunburst


Light & Shadows

Around the Bend

Tafoni and lines everywhere!


>> Crack Canyon Photo Gallery

One Comment

  1. Joe Reed
    Joe Reed November 14, 2015

    Some really nice photos – especially like the opening photo with the starburst.

Leave a Reply