Tall Tales From The Field

Colorful Coal Mine Canyon

There is no paved parking lot. No signs. No shuttle buses. No entrance booth. No park rangers. No rails along the canyon rim.  No guides. No hot dog stands. No mules to take you into the canyon. No Visitor Center. No visitors!  Edward Abbey would approve of this place. In fact, it’s hard to find Coal Mine Canyon listed on any map. You’re suppose to look for the windmill  near a farmhouse and water tank south of Tuba City.  And that’s the way it should be.

 

Coalmine Canyon

Coal Mine Canyon could easily be its own National Park. It is in a remote part of Northern Arizona on the border of the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations. There are remnants of coal deposits in the canyon that the Hopis mined in the past.  But hues of orange, magenta, gold, cyan and yellow dominate the canyon walls. Abstract shapes, patterns, and warped lines grab your attention.

My next post will be of the canyon next door to Coal Mine, Ha Ho No Geh Canyon. These images and more are available as downloadable files or signed prints at Dawn2Dawn Photography

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

The rock formation in the center is called The Ghost. Indian legend has it that a mist forming a ghost of  a beautiful Indian woman would rise up from the canyon floor during a full moon. Her husband and child fell to their deaths along the canyon rim and she would visit the canyon every night searching for them until she eventually died. It just so happened that the day I was there,  a full moon would be rising. But I had to get going as I don’t believe in ghosts.

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

There was one other visitor there, a photographer.

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

 

Coalmine Canyon

19 responses

  1. Wow…stunning captures luv

    Like

    March 10, 2015 at 6:34 PM

  2. Absolutely stunning! What is the blue mineral, do you know? It is amazing to see geological history right before your eyes in layers of color. And to have it pretty much to yourself – priceless.

    Like

    March 10, 2015 at 6:44 PM

    • Thanks Eliza.I believe the blue is a copper ore mineral called chalcocite. I also know that the area was mined heavily for uranium and the black colors are a low grade of coal. The rust color is oxidized iron. I actually hiked about 3 miles along the rim and to my dismay, had 4 bars on my cell phone and received 2 calls from friend out there. Should have left the cell phone home.

      Like

      March 10, 2015 at 7:24 PM

      • Thanks for the details about the minerals. Such gorgeous country.
        Cell phones can save lives, so do bring it, just turn it off next time. 😉

        Like

        March 10, 2015 at 7:33 PM

      • Good idea about the cell phone

        Like

        March 10, 2015 at 7:57 PM

  3. Absolutely captivating! I really miss Northern AZ.

    Like

    March 10, 2015 at 7:34 PM

  4. gorgeous!!!

    Like

    March 10, 2015 at 8:52 PM

  5. This is absolute amazing photography! They all look so beautiful, I love all the red, gold, and oranges in the photos. It must have been lots of breathtaking views!

    Like

    March 11, 2015 at 4:54 AM

  6. Wow! I want to go there now too!

    Like

    March 11, 2015 at 3:01 PM

  7. I passed through your (extended) neighborhood late last year and can only say that I wish I’d had much more time than was available to me at that time to further explore the wonders that I’ve only been able to see and read about through others’ eyes. The slot canyons are, so far, only a distant dream, but hopefully some day I can experience them myself. I thank you for following my website and am looking forward very much to learning more about yours. -Gary

    Like

    March 11, 2015 at 7:11 PM

    • Thanks Gary. I liked this area so much that I moved here 5 years ago from Southern California. There are many places including slot canyons I still need to explore

      Like

      March 22, 2015 at 9:31 AM

  8. very beautiful!

    Like

    March 11, 2015 at 8:30 PM

  9. Beautiful images. You are right about the canyon’s apparent obscurity…It caught my eye once while flying south of Tuba City and it took a lot of effort to find it on a map in order to identify it in my photos. It’s nice to know that there is still a great deal if “back country” to explore.

    Like

    March 22, 2015 at 7:49 AM

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