The Twisted Forms and Many Colors of the Red Cliffs. Or, Maybe You Want To Skip This Post if You Don’t Want to Look at Rocks.

After returning from Grand Staircase-Escalante, we ventured back to the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area for a hike. Upon our arrival I decided we should head southwest from the Cottonwood Canyon Trailhead towards one of my favorite areas of petrified dunes. As with our past hikes in the Red Cliffs we crossed open country, this time roughly paralleling one of the larger canyons to the west for a couple miles until we reached the plateau where twisted forms of sandstone capped with iron oxide lay scattered about and clusters of Liesegang rings were imprinted in rock. From here we roughly followed our route from last March south climbing up the petrified dunes, walking their ridge lines, and exploring more of the patterns, tie-dyed swirls, and stripes of the Red Cliffs. It’s a really interesting and beautiful area, and one I was happy to explore again. Though we were in the same general area as a previous hike, we definitely did not follow the same path, allowing both Tom and I to see new formations, plus our return route followed a different wash which provided new climbing opportunities over some small dry falls.

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Spotted rocks, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Spotted rocks, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Pine Mountains from Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Pine Mountains from Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Abbs and I at snack time, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Abbs and I at snack time, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Twisted sandstone and iron deposits, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Twisted sandstone and iron deposits, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Mineral blooms of iron oxide, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Mineral blooms of iron oxide, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Iron oxide deposits with red cliffs and Pine Mountains in background, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Iron oxide deposits with red cliffs and Pine Mountains in background, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

More twisted iron deposits, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

More twisted iron deposits, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

The patterns and many colors of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

The patterns and many colors of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Petrified dunes, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Petrified dunes, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Petrified dunes, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Petrified dunes, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Petrified dunes, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Petrified dunes, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

More iron oxide in the sandstone, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

More iron oxide in the sandstone, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

More iron oxide, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

More iron oxide, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Petrified dunes, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Petrified dunes, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

A UFO rock? Concentric circles in the sandstone, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

A UFO rock? Concentric circles in the sandstone, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Hiking across the sandstone, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Hiking across the sandstone, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

More petrified dunes, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

More petrified dunes, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Stripes, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Stripes, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Utah

Advertisements