Saturday, February 2, 2019

Upheaval Dome, Canyonlands National Park, UT, October 9

At the northwest end of the pavement for the north branch of Island in the Sky District, there's a trailhead to Upheaval Dome. A National Park Service article on Upheaval Dome is linked here. A link to Island in the Sky hiking trails is here.
According to this information, Upheaval Dome is likely the remnants of a very ancient impact crater. Given the age, you've not looking at the actual crater, but at what resulted below the surface, when the crater was created. Salts upsurged into the vacancy created by the crater, leaving what we see, still beneath the surface. Erosion has now exposed those materials.
The trail itself is given as about .3 mile to the first overlook (basically, just up a short but steep trail from the parking lot). After that, you can continue about a mile further, along the south rim of the canyon, to another overlook. That's what I did. On hiking this, I observed what I would later read, elsewhere: The view is pretty much the same, from either point, so you might wish you conserve your time and energy for a different hike.
While the crater view does not really change, the wider view of the more distant areas of Canyonlands do reveal themselves, so the background scenery will change, even as the view of the "dome" will remain largely similar.

You do get a slightly better view at the "central peak" within the crater. The variations in color and texture are interesting to view, with a telephoto or binoculars.

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