Afton Canyon

Afton Canyon Natural Area

Afton Canyon is a scenic and geologically interesting area located in the Mojave Desert of Southern California, USA. It is often called the “Grand Canyon of the Mojave” due to its impressive and rugged landscapes. One of the notable features of Afton Canyon is its association with the Mojave River.

The Mojave River runs through Afton Canyon, creating a unique riparian (riverbank) environment amid the desert. The river, although intermittent in some sections, has carved a deep and narrow canyon through the surrounding sedimentary rocks, exposing colorful layers of sediment and providing a habitat for various plant and animal species.

Afton Canyon is part of the Mojave National Preserve, a unit of the National Park Service. The area is popular for outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching, and camping. The canyon also features a historic railroad route, including a section known as the “Afton Canyon Natural Area,” which showcases the old railway trestle that spans the Mojave River.

The geology of Afton Canyon is noteworthy, as it exposes layers of sedimentary rocks, including sandstone and mudstone, which tell a story of the region’s geological history. The canyon’s formation is attributed to the erosive power of the Mojave River over time.

Visitors to Afton Canyon can explore its scenic beauty, enjoy recreational activities, and learn about the unique geological and natural features that make this area a special part of the Mojave Desert.