Monday, June 27, 2016

The Waterpocket Fold Unfolds

There is a long dirt road that runs down the length of the Waterpocket Fold. The last time we drove down that road, we passed a few dozen cars and trucks. This dramatic geological feature is probably one of the largest and least known such features in the world. Here the earth was pushed up in a fold that stretches for over 100 miles. From space this feature looks like a long light-colored line and from most of the road, it looks like a low ridge. It is only when you walk into or drive into the unassuming hill that you begin to get an idea of its complexity. The reason it is called the Waterpocket Fold is because the tilted rock layers catch rainwater in profusion. The Fold is lined with narrow box canyons and slot canyons. Most of the Fold is in the Capital Reef National Park, but far off of the paved tourist part of the Park.

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