Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Our Slot Canyon!!
Slot Canyons are not a common feature in the Alamo area… but, we do have our one narrow cut: Leah’s Lair- the Fissure!
Though lying immediately adjacent to our most popular hiking route: the A Trail, it goes mostly unnoticed. The top shows as a narrow rocky cleft, obscured by overgrowth on the north end next to the trail.
Walking along the top… gazing down into the dark precipice, conjures images of bottomless depths. In fact, it is not all that deep, but it has enough fall away to inspire moments of anxiety for those venturing into its depths.
The entry is typically accomplished by walking over into the adjacent canyon to the south(N1- Grotto Canyon) and working your way down and around to the south side of the slit. The mouth is massively overgrown and at first glance does not appear to be worth the effort. In fact, look a bit higher and you’ll spot a narrow ledge winding across the top of the overgrowth. Follow that ledge route to enter the Fissure.
After the first corner you will need to drop down and crawl through a short cave… emerging into the open topped formation… which immediately drops down and away.
It continues to drop as you work your way along a very narrow ledge, with the dark drop away again giving you the feeling of unfathomable depths. In fact, you are not all that far from the bottom.
For many hikers, a rope may be a good idea… both to avoid unnecessary risks and to aid climbing back up the narrow slot.
At one point, many thousands of years ago, this feature extended well to the south. The same fault can be found across Grotto Canyon in the ridge on it’s south side. The erosion that created the canyon removed the Fissure from that area. That would have really been impressive…
…but, we take what we can get! This is our slot canyon… and is well worth a visit!
Leah really liked it… at least until it scared the pumpkin out of her!
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.