My wife and I first visited Slot Canyon north of Radium Springs more than two years ago. I talked about it in a Dec. 14, 2020 blog, saying I felt like I was on the set of an Indiana Jones movie when we trekked through the steep-walled canyon carved out by years of rushing flood waters.
We’ve been back several times, mostly for entertainment of visiting grandchildren. Our most recent visit was last week, with our daughter and grandchildren Hannah and Hayes.
After we first visited Slot Canyon, we told others about it and also discovered that many other people had learned about the unique geological feature and visited it as well. It’s become quite popular around here as a place to hike.
A scene filmed there showed up on a recent advertisement for New Mexico State University. When we were visiting last week, a bride to be and her groom were having professional pictures taken of them in their wedding attire in the canyon. We also noticed that a large boulder had dropped into the middle part of the canyon, making it tricky to maneuver around. My hunch is that it was dislodged from above during a heavy rainfall last summer — however, it could have been pushed into the canyon by vandals.
I hope Slot Canyon’s popularity doesn’t become its downfall. We were disappointed to find a discarded half-eaten apple and a banana peel on floor of the canyon. There were several water bottles and other trash scattered along the route. There was unbagged dog poop along the trail. And on the unmarked green gate that is the beginning of the trail to the canyon, someone had written graffiti on one of the supporting posts.
The canyon is located on federal land, but there has been no visible attempt to protect or promote it. It’s such a small geological area and the canyon is so narrow that it really can’t accommodate huge numbers of visitors.
I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that most people realize what a treasure it is and do their part to protect it.