Palm Canyon (Kofa)

When I left the RTR I headed to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Camping in NWRs is similar to generic BLM land, but I really wanted to see Palm Canyon:

Palm Canyon is a unique natural feature predominantly known for the native palm trees that grow in the canyon. These are rare in Arizona and are likely relicts of a geological period when the area was wetter and cooler.

Here is the start of the short hike to the Canyon:

In that pic the canyon is beyond the V, on the left side.

Looking back to the trailhead. The van is the white speck in the shade, near the shade/light demarcation.

Here is the actual Palm Canyon, an unlikely shaded slot about 2/3rds the way up in the center. It appears to actually be shaded by an overhead outcropping although I didn’t bring my binos (dangit!):

I guess it collects enough rainwater in that slot and gets enough shade to survive. The genetic pool must be tightly constrained as there are no other palms around. :-(

I tried to get a craptastic digital zoom shot from the camera:

The green spots are living trees, and the brown is dead vegetation (maybe dead trees, dunno). The plaque at the viewing spot said there were twenty-something living trees when last officially counted. 22? 23?

Reminds me a bit of those last two northern white rhinos.