Where in the USA is the CoCo Locomoto? travel blog

Spire

The Wooden Shoe

The Needles

A rock overhang created by flash floods

Rock formation

Rock formations

Newspaper Rock

A miners home


Nicknamed "A Wilderness of Rock," you can certainly see why while driving through the park. THe Park has three distinct areas, Island in the Sky, The Maze and THe Needles. We visited "The Needles" area. THe Maze District is ranked one of the most remote areas in the U.S. Water and gravity are the major forces that have formed the area creating hundreds of canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires. At center stage are two deep canyons carved by the Green and Colorado rivers which merge deep within the Maze District. Earth movement and a huge buried salt basin fractured the white and red sandstone millions of years ago then water, freezing, and thawing continue to cause the fractures. You wonder what it will look like in another million years. The white sandstone is the result of a lack of iron and other chemicals in the sediments from which it was made more than 250 million years ago. The sediments were originally deposited on beaches, sand bars and coastal dunes. It is mind boggling that this area could have once been home to beaches and coastal dunes! It is very arid, hot in the summertime and precipitation is scarce. Many of the cliffs are over 6000 feet high so it does get snow in the winter which helps create the unique shapes of the rocks. THe red sandstone is caused by oxidation of iron materials. The sediment the rock is made of was carried from the east by streams of a rock uplift at the same time the white sandstone was created. We have wished we were geologists to help understand the many different layers, kinds of rock and the forces which can create such breathtaking places. On the road to the park we stopped at Newspaper Rock which is a petroglyph etched in sandstone that records over 2000 years of early man's activities. There have no way of dating the writings or interpreting their meanings. We also visited an old uranium mine and the miners dwelling.



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