Alan Barrett Images | The Bigger Picture | Moenkopi Wash canyons

Moenkopi Wash in north east Arizona is part of a drainage system that includes Coal Mine Canyon, Blue Canyon and Ha Ho No Geh Canyon, all of which cut into soft, sedimentary rocks on the eastern edge of the Painted Desert. The sandstone is multi-coloured and layered with low grade coal, which explains the black/grey streaks in some cliffsides.

The area is on the border of the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations and the canyons are largely unpopulated, and being away from the better known Arizona attractions they receive few visitors.