Monday, September 07, 2015

The Great Southern Utah Road Trip - August 23 - Part I - Snow Canyon

We drove out around noon from Las Vegas northeast on the I-15 to St. George. After settling in at the time-share, Holly wanted to show me some of the beautiful country near St. George, so we drove out to Snow Canyon.

Snow Canyon State Park is comprised of volcanic cones, sand dunes, deep red sandstone cliffs, and twisted layers of rock. The scenery is so spectacular it has been the backdrop for Hollywood movies including The Electric Horseman and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid! 
Transported by wind more than 183 million years ago, tiny grains of quartzite sand covered much of what we now call Utah. These sand dunes, up to 2,500 feet thick, eventually were cemented into stone. Burnt orange to creamy white in color, Navajo sandstone, the predominant rock in the park, is what remains of the ancient desert sand sea. Over time, water has cut and shaped the sandstone to form canyons. Approximately 1.4 million years ago, and as recently as 27,000 years ago, nearby cinder cones erupted, causing lava to flow down these canyons, filling them with basalt. This redirected ancient waterways, eventually carving new canyons.  

The scenery was beautiful, the geology fascinating ...


and we found a grand spot for a light supper.

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