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gem icon Ernst Tinaja

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Description

This frequently-visited site sits at the entrance of a limestone canyon that is well-known for three particular features. The first is the bright, curving orange striations in the rocks. Next, are the giant oyster fossils that are found in the rock layers, followed by the tinaja itself.

The Ernst Tinaja is a 13-foot, naturally-formed rock pool which is also referred to as a "kettle". Tinajas are pools or pockets that are formed in the bedrock. This is caused by being at the base of waterfalls or by the recurring erosion from ephemeral desert streams or arroyos that carry sediment which, over time, can carve out deep shapes in the rock. The Ernst Tinaja often has a concentrated, green water in it that can be toxic if consumed. Occasionally, animals fall into these holes and are unable to get out due to the sheerness of the walls.

Past the Ernst Tinaja, that are many opportunities for bouldering up in the canyon. The sandy conditions on the rock surfaces can be slick, so be careful with your footing as you explore.

Visitors should be very aware of any chance of rain in this area. This canyon is prone to flash floods and can be extremely dangerous if there is any sort of precipitation.

Short Run: On the park's east side, head north from the paved road on Old Ore Road for 4.5 miles. This road is suggested for high-clearance vehicles only. Look for signs for the short, 0.2-mile access road that leads to the Ernst Tinaja Primitive Roadside Campsite. Continue past the campsite for the parking area for the trailhead to Ernst Tinaja. It is about a half mile to the tinaja, for around a one mile run in total.

Gem Type: Geologic Feature

Shared by:
Zander Göpfert

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Shared by Zander Göpfert on Jul 21, 2016. All Page Views: 1,303. Last Month: 82.