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Archive for grand staircase utah

The Grand Staircase

By Linda Tancs

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has the distinction of being the first monument overseen by the Bureau of Land Management rather than the National Park Service.  Holding court in southern Utah at an expansive 1.7 million acres (slightly larger in area than the State of Delaware), this world class geologic and paleontological site comprises not only the Grand Staircase but also the Kaiparowits Plateau and the Canyons of the Escalante.  A staircase of cliffs and terraces, the Grand Staircase’s multi-hued formations represent 200 million years of Earth’s history, featuring fossils of fish and early dinosaurs from the Triassic Period (the vermilion cliffs) as well as Jurassic sand dunes (the white cliffs).  An ancient freshwater lake deposited the siltstone comprising the pink cliffs at the top of the Grand Staircase.  Nearly one thousand miles of roads provide access to what may arguably be one of the greatest shows on Earth.

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