The Story Behind…Rainbow Sluice

August 14, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

The Story Behind...
Rainbow Sluice

Rainbow Sluice 

It happens in Montana’s Glacier National Park and Columbia’s Cano Cristales…rocks of many colors…just as found along Houston Mesa Road in Arizona.
Take small waterfall deposits of oxidized iron for reds, mica for green, copper for bright blue or green and manganese for purple and voila…you have Rainbow Sluice.
Houston Mesa Road takes you there, leading deep into prime Rim country as it crosses the East Verde River four times.  For 10 miles Houston Mesa Road stretches through the forested northern section of the Tonto National Forest, the fifth largest forest in the United States, just one mile north of Payson, Arizona.
It is in the Water Wheel area where a series of small waterfalls slice through a narrow granite gorge as it leaves mineral deposits behind.  Historically, the water wheel was installed by James Greer to power a mining claim during the Great Depression.  Milk cans attached to the wheel dipped into the creek, lifted to the top of the wheel and emptied into a funnel pipe to a sluice box, all to create power to crush ore.  The claim was sold in the 1940s and the wheel abandoned.
Rainbow Sluice was photographed using an Arca Swiss 4’x5’ view camera with a Schneider 90mm lens at f45 with a long exposure of two seconds on Kodak Ektachrome film giving the water a smooth, silky appearance.
Add Rainbow Sluice to your home or office decor. 
Available framed, unframed, museum back or canvas gallery wrap.
Other images can be seen at
Contact Arlene for details.


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