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The Subway

The Subway

Heart of Gold
© Miles Hecker



The Left Fork of North Creek is home to The Subway. The Subway is a slot canyon cut deep in the Navajo Sandstone walls of the Left Fork Canyon. It's floor is an ebony like fossilized lake bed of the Kayenta Formation. It's light at the proper time, has a neon hue reminiscent of a great natural cathedral. It's pools, glow with a turquoise shimmer. It is a truly visual potpourri of the first order.

Going to The Subway requires a permit and a nine mile round trip strenuous hike. Information on getting a permit can be found here.

The Subway is legendary in the pantheon of southwest photo locations. The part accessible to bottom up hikers without wetsuits and climbing gear is only about 200 yards long. It is slippery and can be crowded at times. There are many compositional alternatives here and you are are only limited by your imagination.

The above photo was taken with a focal equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm full frame camera.This area is best photographed in summer or fall. I would pick the third week in October through the first week in November as the best time for fall color.


Photography is best at this site from mid to late in the morning.


LENS: 17-35mm for full frame camera, 10-20mm for crop sensor camera

FILTER: none needed


Slide films: Fuji Velvia 100 or Ektachrome 100SW

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Concepts: Photography, Kayenta Formation, Navajo Sandstone, English-language films, Slot canyon, Time, Kayenta, Arizona, Canyon

Entities: North Creek, Miles Hecker

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