Fall 2020: Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument

Preliminary

Bearing a name that only a bureaucrat could love and surrounded by a multiplicity of named places and jurisdictions, GSENM might seem to be unworthy of a visit. But au contraire, as I hope the following photos illustrate.

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Brown and white badlands seem to be rather scarce in my experience. That made this area more enjoyable for me.
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An unusual formation in its own right, this seems to be the iconic toadstools for the area. The toadstool is the portion on the left, where a hard rock sits atop a faster eroding column of sandstone.
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Don’t you just wonder what lies in and beyond that opening in the hills? And why is the ground white?
A nifty alcove
A nifty alcove
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The intense colors here along the Paria River reminded me of my experience earlier on the same river in the Vermillion Cliffs NM. Sometimes borders and names on maps don’t matter much when compared to geography.
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The trees would show off their color briliantly under the right lighting, but that lighting would invariably be associated with a less exciting background. It drove me crazy.
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Why do I find brown to be such an interesting color when found it certain places in nature?
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The intense colors here along the Paria River reminded me of my experience earlier on the same river in the Vermillion Cliffs NM. Sometimes borders and names on maps don’t matter much when compared to geography.
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I think I’m going to call this type of landscape a “red rock badlands.” I wonder if the geologists would agree. BTW, note how the green grass and bushes contrasts (nicely, IMHO) with the red scene.
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The trees would show off their color briliantly under the right lighting, but that lighting would invariably be associated with a less exciting background. It drove me crazy.
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The geological figure called The Cockscomb stretches for many miles. Unfortunately, I was able to spend very little time in the high country of GSENM.

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I bet you’ve never seen this remarkable nativity in stone before. Mary watches while Joseph picks up the baby Jesus.

The surface of Yellow Rock is itself iteresting
The surface of Yellow Rock is itself iteresting
From this location Yellow Rock looks more red than yellow
From this location Yellow Rock looks more red than yellow
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Kodachrome Basin State Park in Utah is one of those places that is just too cool to be “just” a state park. (Another is Snow Canyon, also in Utah. Hmmm.) The park is known for its unusual concentration of stone spires. Here is a bunch of them in one place.
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Kodachrome Basin State is yet another a red rock land. This particular portion is called Hat Shop.
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Kodachrome Basin State Park in Utah is one of those places that is just too cool to be “just” a state park. (Another is Snow Canyon, also in Utah. Hmmm.) The park is known for its unusual concentration of stone spires. Here are a number of them in one place.