Sunday, August 8, 2010

Snow Canyon State Park, Utah

Snow Canyon State Park in southwestern Utah is one of my favorite haunts. This may be one of  the great desert state parks around.  Snow Canyon sits on the intersection of where the Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, and Mojave Desert all meet.  You get an ecosystem here that blends all three deserts into one habitat.

The Park is part of a geologic oddity with volcanic activity that is only a few thousand years old, Navajo Sandstone cliffs and folds, lava fields, lava boulders, extinct shield volcanoes and dunes. The picture above is of a petrified dune.  If you look at the plants in the picture you can see Teddy Bear Cholla growing alongside juniper trees, sagebrush, and mesquite.

These large boulders are part of an older volcanic field. The orange, brown and reddish hues blend together with the with the blue green shrubbery to make the views interesting at each stop.
This is a shield volcano cone that is extinct. Try hiking the thing. It will give you a good workout to reach the almost straight up summit.

My final shot is one of my favorite that I have ever taken. It shows the contortions of the cliffs, the color of the area.  In the foreground you can see the remains of a broken up lava flow. It would have been cool to be here when the area was more geologically active.  Who knows, I might get my wish sometime.

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