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Goblin Valley State Park, Utah
Aerial Photography Using Drones Fall of 2014
Goblin Valley is an area of Entrada sandstone, part of a vast plateau that was uplifted in the collision of vast tectonic plates.
It sits atop the Colorado Plateau, just East of a fold in the Earth's surface known as the San Rafael Swell. The Swell is some 75 miles in length South to North, and is punctuated by numerous twisting slot canyons and towering ramparts along its eastern face.
The upthrusting of these layers of what used to be ancient sea floor exposed them to millenia of erosion, slowly shaping them into the forms we see now. The Valley has hundreds of huge formations, all taller than human visitors, marching like an army of goblins across the sand. The park has an elevated viewing area, which offers an overview, but walking among the goblin army is the real treat of the park
Just outside the park proper, Wild Horse Butte exposes four separate layers of ancient sandstone--the Morrison, Summerville, Curtis and Entrada layers. Each layer represents millions of years of sand deposition in an ancient sea.
Family in Goblin Alley from Carl F. Roessler
Two Men Enter Goblin Valley from Carl F. Roessler
Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
Little Wild Horse Canyon is a slot canyon complex in the eastern face of the San Rafael Swell about five miles from Goblin Valley State Park. This canyon is typical of slot canyons such as Antelope Canyon near Page, Arizona and Red Canyon near Kanab, Utah.There area series of three narrow passages, separated by open areas where the stone walls soar into the sunny sky around you.
Driving past the beautiful Wild Horse Butte, you drive five miles on a dirt road to a parking lot for the Canyon. Little Wild Horse Canyon is a fairly easy hike, though some parts of the canyon are very narrow and have some sizable boulders underfoot.
The area of Utah where Little Wild Horse Canyon is located has several other remarkable features. Little Wild Horse Canyon itself is carved into the eastern face of the fold in the Earth's crust known as the San Rafael Swell. The Swell rises above the low plains by hundreds of feet, and has towering formations between the deep canyons. From the Swell, we can clearly see the Henry Mountains to southeast of the Canyon. Fifteen miles to the east are found the remains of the Crystal Geyser to the East.
Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah Video
Slot Canyons in Page, Arizona and Kanab, Utah
This is a sad story. When I consulted my favorite guidebook, preparing for this trip, it enthusiastically recommended visiting the Crystal Geyser. According to the author, once or twice a day the geyser erupted 60 feet into the air. The picture on the page made it a must to visit.
I stayed there for parts of two days, when by coincidence an off-duty local law-enforcement officer visited with his wife. He told me he had seen the geyser erupt on one occasion for more than a half-hour.
However, he said, it had never been the same since the environmental activists had sabotaged it. It seems the local green activists didn’t like the mineral-laden water going into the nearby river, so they filled the shaft with stones and dynamited it.
Naïve good intentions, as often happens, led to disaster. The damaged geyser still puts the minerals into the river, and the tourist attraction is destroyed.
Crystal Geyser from Carl F. Roessler
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