Hiking the Canyon Lake Gorge

A few months ago, David Barnard tipped me off to the existence of the Canyon Lake Gorge, a feature formed in 2002 by the torrential overflow from Canyon Lake during that year’s floods. We were both able to secure one of the scarce reservations for a hike through the gorge, and embarked on our little adventure yesterday.

The gorge is striking. It was stripped of life during the floods as the water carved into the limestone bedrock, but has slowly had plant life return as seeds fall in or are brought by animals. There are lots of springs where the water seeps up from the aquifer or escapes from the lake, as well as a ton of different sorts of fossils: algae, sea biscuits, snails, clams, and even dinosaur footprints.

It was great fun to get to see this area, to talk with the people who have watched it change in the 5 years since the flood, and to literally stumble across evidence of life from thousands of years ago.

Gorge, Lake, People

You can see more photos here, or download a KML (Google Earth) dump from my GPS showing where the hike went here.