Image taken along the San Rafael Reef, Utah.
san rafael swell
Anticline entrance to the San Rafael Reef, or Swell, along I-70 in Utah. This is the eastern entrance. A stunning area…ancient seabed, fossils, rock formations, canyons – just have to see it to believe it.
As captivating as our entire trip has been thus far I found myself staring open-mouthed at the mysterious beauty that is Utah. When I wasn’t taking photos, that is. There is a mystical feel to this incredible expanse of space. Stopping at the Utah Visitor Center 40 miles across the state line, the volunteer told us to be sure to fill up the car in Green River. “There’s nothing else for over a hundred miles afterward,” she said with foreboding. When asked what sights I should look for she told me to be sure to stop along the several scenic overlooks when we reach the San Rafael Reef. A reef? Here? Turns out the answer is “yes,” albeit one tens of millions of years old. Also known as San Rafael Swell, I learned that this is a large geologic anticline. An “anticline” is a formation of stratified rock raised up, by folding, into a broad arch so that the strata slope down on both sides form a common crest. She said we would recognize the area immediately as we would be met by a wall of inclined rock that stretches almost as far as you can see to the north and south. True enough. Driving westward this wall was easily spotted, and was the spot of our first scenic view. It was an incredible sight. Thank you, Utah, for an amazing time.
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