Tag Archives: Douglas fir

TREKKING IN CANYON DEL MUERTO – CANYON DE CHELLY NATIONAL MONUMENT

INTRODUCTION

During the years 1966 – 1971 I was photographing car races, and from 1970 on also an Indian tribe in Venezuela. In October -November 1968 I was coverin the CAN-AM (group 7) series of races. I had photographed the penultimate race in Riverside, and I was on my way, traveling by car, to the last race in Las Vegas. While in Arizona I suppose that someone suggested that I visit the Canyon de Chelly National Monument, inside the Navajo Indian Reservation. I don’t remember where I spent the night and where I left my car; I got a ride to the unofficial “entrance” of the reserve.  I think I entered the reserve through or below barbed wires… I am not sure if it was from the Window Rock – Tsaile road or from the Tsaile – Chinle road. In the first case I would have seen the dam on the Tsaile creek and the lake; in the alternative case I would have entered Middle Trail Canyon. Glenn Rink who studied the vegetation of the reserve thinks: “I am not sure where you entered the canyons, but I’ll bet it was at Middle Trail Canyon, the small northern tributary to Canyon del Muerto.”

My thanks

to Glenn Rink who identified some of the trees and plants in these pictures.

Photos 1 – 2 were taken where I spent the night (in a tube tent -see drawing after the photographs), next to the creek. Probably some 3 to 5 hours from the road. Obviously there were oak trees besides the conifers.

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Cliffs in Canyon del Morto. Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Probably Douglas fir trees on the right side.

 

This is about where I spent the night in a tube tent. In the morning the creek was partially frozen.

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Canyon del Morto in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Morning ice on Tsaile Creek (early November).Gambel oak leaves. Gambel Oak (Quercus gambelii) FAGACEAE

 

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Canyon del Morto in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Coniferous forest. Probably Douglas fir. The fall color tree might be a Gambel oak.

 

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Canyon del Morto in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Cliffs and coniferous trees. Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Pinaceae )on the left. Probably a Pinyon pine on the right. Douglas fir against the rock.

 

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Canyon del Morto in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Cliffs and coniferous trees. Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii family: Pinaceae) (top right, agaist rock) center right: shorter ones are probably junipers, could be Rocky Mountain.

 

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USA, Arizona, Canyon de Chelly National Monument,. Mummy cave ruins of Ancient Pueblo Peoples (also called Anasazi).

 

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Canyon del Morto in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Bottom of canyon and cliffs. Cottonwoods on the left. Phragmites lining the channel on the left. The lighter colored bushes may be rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa Asteraceae)

Navajo horses.

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Horses belonging to Navajo Indians running in bottom of Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Cottonwood trees at base of cliff.

 

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Canyon del Morto in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Rocks and fall leaves against blue sky with light clouds.

 

When I reached the entrance of the Monument the ranchers were puzzled, seeing someone coming from nowhere. They asked me where I came from. I said from the road near Tsaile, initially walking down the creek bed, then following trails. They said they had never been there…

This is how I described a tube tent in a letter to my family.

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Contact for quote   or   Purchase photographs online

 

Links

Map:

Canyon de Chelly National Monument Vegetation Mapping Project – USGS-NPS

 

VASCULAR FLORA and VEGETATION CHANGE at CANYON DE CHELLY NATIONAL MONUMENT, APACHE COUNTY, ARIZONA

By Glenn Rink. Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ   (page with download link)

 

Threat of invasive species:

Cooperative Watershed Restoration Project: Tamarisk and Russian Olive Management at Canyon de Chelly National Monument. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior