Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Death Valley's Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail
There is a story about the rocky wash. Apparently there was a road up into this canyon at one point, but a sustained rain in the ‘70’s dropped more than two inches of precip here, and the old road washed out. Now the route is restricted to ped’s, but it is a very interesting route.
A key point of interest is what’s happening here, in a canyon that is estimated to be only 3 million or so years old. That’s young by geologic standards (during my trip to the Grand Canyon, I recall that the exposed rocks near the river are billions of years old – half the age of the earth). You can see the rock layers, also called the Furnace Creek Formation, that have been carved out by wind and water, and then traces of seismic activity, so it’s almost like the earth is changing right in front of you.
Coming to terms with the scale of the changes and the relatively short timeframes of the events brought home the fact that human activity can have a profound impact on the planet and our environment. That’s nothing that hasn’t been said before, I know, but for me, it only served to reinforce thoughts about my own responsibilities with respect to the environment.
Here’s a link to the Best Easy Day Hikes book: