The painted trail

We wanted to take a good long walk, but there was only one hiking trail in the entire national park. Really?! It seemed impossible that there would only be one, and that one would be a short trail: 2.5 miles (4 km) roundtrip with 600 foot (183 m) descent. Since there was no choice really, we parked at the overlook in Canyon de Chelly National Monument and started down.

What a surprise! The path was mostly a winding rock ramp with really spectacular views the entire way down. The easier-than-expected walk led to the White House Ruins.

The Ancient Puebloans lived in the White House between 1060 AD and 1275 AD. By 1300 AD a drought forced the Ancient Puebloans to leave the canyon.

As we photographed the ruins, we experimented with the watercolor setting on Beth’s camera, a Sony Cybershot RX100 II. The landscape, the ruins, and the place just begged to be “painted.”

We then photographed the White House Ruins from a different perspective, using the camera’s regular manual settings for comparison. Somehow, the standard style just didn’t work as well for us.

Since we had decided to take most of our photos on the way back up the trail as a way to take breaks and get a little rest, the camera setting stayed on watercolor. Now, looking back at our photos, we think the day took on a romanticized look.

The canyon walls rise up 600 feet from the sandy wash.

The flowing Chinle Wash runs through the canyon and small trees flourish, including some old peach trees. Still, it is hot at the bottom and cacti also thrive.

Huge red entrada sandstone boulders dotted the bowl.

Almost at the top of the trail we saw one lone yucca plant wedged against the stone wall in afternoon shade. The color of the lush flower against the deep red canyon wall was the reward at the end of the hike.

Generally, when we take photographs, we just snap and don’t really think of matching a photography style to the occasion. In the case of the hike to the White House Ruins, we think our choice of a “painting” style matched the occasion.

A further note: Navajos still live in Canyon de Chelly so access to visitors is limited. That might explain the limitation to one hiking trail.


May 2017

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in US - Utah and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The painted trail

  1. Bernice Rowe says:

    Say, could we move the pres to THIS White House?

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  2. bluebrightly says:

    I noticed your comment on Walking Woman’s post, and that you were at Capitol Reef, a favorite place – so I had to check. Meanwhile, here you were at Canyon de Chelly, another place I have actually been to. I like what you’ve done with your images, very much. It is quite difficult to photograph – that I learned first hand.

  3. plaidcamper says:

    Lovely photographs (paintings!) and a spectacular location! On our bucket list…

  4. It beats sitting in the heat with your canvas, paints, brushes, easel and a wide brimmed hat. Nice paintings and very interesting looking countryside.

  5. If there was to be just one trail, this was a great route for it to take. Wow, the scenery is spectacular.

Tell us what you think, please.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.