And that's exactly what we did this year. We returned. And headed straight-away to this trail, which is, quite simply, amazing. Stupendous. Awe-inspiring. Colorful. Larger than life.
At the bottom. Gosh, that wasn’t hard at all.
Heading back up. [huff, puff, rest. repeat.]
Trail facts: we started at 8000 ft elevation; dropped to 7476 ft elevation (duck soup); and climbed back up (not duck soup). Temperature hovered just under 90*. We were mostly in the shade. Big Dude tracked us on the phone. His stats: 2.3 miles. 50 minutes moving time. 1hr47minutes total. And in the following slideshow, I condense our whole hike into 90 seconds so you may vicariously -& quickly- come along with us - down down down & up up up. :-)
Some photo stats: I was traveling relatively "light" - by that, I mean my 5d + 24-105mm lens + 15mm lens. I left the heavy tripod back at the car. I shouldn't have :-(. It would have been nice to have in the hoodoo-slot-canyon. Out in the open sky sections of the trail, I was shooting at smaller apertures (7.1, 8, 11) and 400iso. In the slot canyon (little-to-no sky above), I was shooting at 1600iso and had to open up my aperture (f/4) to let more light in. If I'd had my tripod, I would have shot at 200iso, a smaller aperture (probably f/8), and with a longer exposure. Kicking myself a bit now. Lesson learned. The other lesson I learned: inside these exuberantly orange walls, I should have shot in RAW mode. I'm a die-hard JPG-shooter in most circumstances. But for people pics inside these canyon walls, it really would have behooved me to shoot RAW in order to remove that crazy color cast from skin. RAW would have been additionally beneficial in terms of capturing greater "dynamic range" of light. I lightly tweaked most of my exposures in Lightroom (usually just adding a little fill light to lift shadows), created the slideshow in Lightroom, and created the side-by-side vertical diptychs in LR, using Kellie Hatcher's beta-version LR print templates.