Colorado Plateau

In Utah,

Entering Utah

I saw the western terminus of I-70, at its junction with I-15 near Cove Fort, UT.

Western end/beginning of I-70

Here is I-70’s 0th mile:

Mile 0 on Interstate 70

Driving through Utah, I was surprised to see scenic pull-offs along the interstate, so I made a point of stopping at each.

Utah Landscape

I saw Castle Valley,

Castle Valley

Ghost Rock,

Ghost Rock

and then I climbed about halfway out onto a peninsula jutting into Spotted Wolf Canyon.

Spotted Wolf Canyon

[That’s I-70 curving through the canyon below.]

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In Colorado,

Entering Colorado

I stopped in Fruita to see one site, but ended up visiting two. First was Dinosaur Hill:

Dinosaur Hill

Dinosaur Hill is where most of an apatosaurus skeleton was discovered in 1900-1901. The skeleton has been displayed for over 100 years at the Field Museum in Chicago. I climbed up and around the hill. Here is the view from the top; the Colorado River can be seen in the first frames:

In the back of Dinosaur Hill is a monument to Elmer Riggs for his 1901 discovery.

Quarry and monument in the back of Dinosaur Hill

It was a nice climb and circuit, at a place of great paleontological significance.

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Right nearby Dinosaur Hill is Colorado National Monument, which has about ten canyons all in a row near one another! Near the Fruita Entrance is Balanced Rock:

Balanced Rock

I walked out on Otto’s Trail to get a good view into Wedding and Monument Canyons. Independence Monument is between the two canyons:

Independence Monument

And Otto’s Rock, or the Pipe Organ, is also right there near the end of the trail.

Otto's Rock

Next up, along Rim Rock Drive, were the Coke Ovens:

Coke Ovens

There was a pretty view from Artist’s Point:

Here is Ute Canyon:

Ute Canyon

And Red Rock Canyon:

Red Canyon

I exited the park toward Grand Junction, Colorado, then drove on toward Denver and the Rocky Mountains.

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All these features are part of the Colorado Plateau, a relatively flat area (compared to the mountains around it, anyway) drained by the Colorado River. The Colorado Plateau is home to an amazing fifteen national parks and monuments, so I shall have to visit again!

More pictures from this part of the trip can be found in these four albums.

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4 responses to “Colorado Plateau

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