Scenic USA - Utah

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.


Skylight Arch

Skylight Arch

Photo by Rob Jones
Trip Report

This roadside view of Skylight Arch is probably passed by hundreds of motorists every day without being noticed. The skylight window, found outside Page, Arizona, was carved by nature, through a tough caprock called Dakota Sandstone. The softer Entrada Sandstone underneath has been eroded away, leaving an intriguing skylight in the Utah desert. The arch is found about 10 miles from Page, along U.S. Route 89 on the fringes of the Glen Canyon Recreation Area.
Just a dot on the map, but the area has been the site of a big controversy ever since the Glen Canyon Dam was proposed. The Colorado River Storage Project included a dozen sites to be dammed, with the most prominent being Echo Park (saved) and Flaming Gorge (lost). Debates raged on until all but a few of the sites were removed from consideration. The Glen Canyon Dam project moved on, creating a construction town called Page. Today, residents of Page celebrated their 50th anniversary. Meanwhile, conservationists refer to Lake Powell's dam as a sewer stopper.
Before construction of the Glen Canyon Dam, the Colorado River ran through Glen Canyon unchecked, moving 50,000 tons of dirt and silt every day. The debris, including runoff and effluent, is piling up behind the dam. Renewed efforts to remove the dam began in earnest over the last several years. Sierra Club, Earth First, and the Glen Canyon Action Network predict the reservoir's days are numbered. On the flip side, planners are developing a new, half billion dollar, 158 mile long aqueduct, diverting water to Utah's growing cities.



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