“Nature in Vernal, UT”
Fantasy Canyon is an area composed of unique erosional features located about 27 miles south of Vernal, in northeastern Utah. Even though the area is only about 10 acres in size, it contains some of the most unique geologic features in the world. The site was officially documented by early explorer and paleontologist Earl Douglass, who recorded the area by other names such as “The Devil’s Playground” and “Hades Pit.” He published photographs of this area in a 1909 publication called “The Columbian Magazine. The rocks of Fantasy Canyon were deposited during the Eocene Epoch. The age of the rocks date around 38 to 50 million years ago. During the geologic period, the Uinta Basin was occupied by a large lake called Lake Uinta. The lake extended 120 miles west to Heber City, 30 miles east to Rangely, south to the Book Cliff Divide, north to the Unita Mountains, and was about a half mile deep.
This canyon was beautiful. Sadly there were severe rain storms the month prior to our visit and a lot of the trails had been washed away, and I think some of the formations had collapsed.
None-the-less there was plenty to look at. If you go, go early in the day or in the evening. Bring plenty of water, a first aid kit, and a hat. It is literally in the middle of nowhere surrounded by oil fields. There is no phone reception, and no help for miles around.
It is worth the drive though.
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