Red Canyon

I sit here debating on what to write about today. I just returned from a field trip for my geology class to Bryce Canyon and I am trying to figure out where I want to begin. Since I might as well do this in chronological order lets me begin with some simple stuff then shift to the more complex. And the simple begins with Red Canyon.

(Fun fact, the picture above was a contender for my banner picture at the top of my blog. I chose the other due to the look and I felt like it had more adventure in it.)

Red Canyon is found right off of Highway 89 up Highway 12. It takes about 3 minutes of driving to get too, so if your passing by I suggest taking a look. It’s a small scenic section of road that has geological connections to Bryce, and some cool geological features in itself. If you’re unfamiliar with hoodoo’s, this is where you will get your first taste. The canyon is filled with hundreds of these cool formations that can be awe inspiring especially when there are hundreds of them lined up.

As you drive up the road, you will find plenty of great places to turn off and take some great pictures of these formations.

Since I just got back from a geology field trip I feel like I should talk about some geological features of the area. I thought about describing how hoodoo’s are formed, but that can be easily found on the internet. So lets talk about something you probably wont hear about.

At the mouth of the canyon is a pull off area (there are restrooms here) where there are some interesting geological feature. When you step out of your car, look north and you will see on your right some hoodoo’s and red rock, but on your left you will see some lava rock. They make a very distinct change in topography so its hard to miss. Well, what your seeing is a fault line. Right here the earth is shifting in opposite directions. On the right the earth is moving up and on the left the earth is moving down.

The lava rock is about 500,000 years old while just a few feet away the red rock is about 53 million years old. Here we have two worlds sliding past each other at a breath taking .4 millimeters a year. That may not seem like much but the when you increase that rate to .5 milometers the effect is what you see when you look at the mountains right out side of Cedar City. Something like a few thousand feet difference.


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