Lower Coyote Canyon, Anza-Borrego DSP, California, USA by Jon Norris

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Another favorite location of mine for landscape photography is Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is located North-East of San Diego in Southern California and is under 3-hours away from home.

Anza-Borrego's rugged landscape was formed mostly by erosion attacking the mountains created via plate tectonics and the relative movements of the Pacific and North American plates along the San Andreas and Elsinore faults. The badlands of Anza-Borrego represent ancient lake basins in which sediments were deposited from the Colorado River as it excavated the Grand Canyon. The variety of landscapes in this region is incredible - badlands, sandstone canyons, slot canyons, and mountains. Anza-Borrego is also home to the Salton Sea, one of the world's largest inland seas and lowest spots on earth at 227 feet below sea level. Another plus is that the number of visitors is significantly less than it's neighboring National Parks.

My favorite time to visit is between October and February as the temperatures are easier to handle during the day. Many of the best locations to shoot are only accessible by a high-clearance vehicle - preferably a four-wheel-drive.

During this trip, I wanted to explore Lower Coyote Canyon again but follow the trail right through the canyon and up to the Sheep Canyon Campground. Shortly after leaving the pavement and entering the canyon, there were these large patches of dried and curled mud tiles on both sides of the trail. I scouted around (taking care not to tread on any of the mud tiles) for some time to find a composition I liked and then settled on this one.


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