Scenic USA - Arizona

Desert Facade

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Desert Facade - Grand Cayon National Park, Arizona

Photo by Rob Jones
Wilderness Vagabond Trip Reports

   The story of the Great Flood, widely known from a 3000 year old Hebrew account in Genesis, prevails in cultures throughout the world. Over 200 accounts, some relating a story of a moral punishment for mankind's injustices, narrates a period of torrential rains which covered the Earth. Some inhabitants survived by climbing the tallest mountain, while others sought shelter in a large canoe and a dozen other stories relate how humans were spared by taking refuge in an ark.
   Although it would impossible to cover the planet in water, localized Biblical type floods have occurred throughout the Earth's past. Dramatic evidence shows a massive flood in the Columbia River Basin and new theories of a flood in Noah's Black Sea region have surfaced.
   Often times Creationalists used the Grand Canyon as evidence for Noah's flood, while Evolutionists see the canyon as rock layers of time, ranging in age from 270 million to 1.8 billion years. No matter which school of thought you may follow, this view looking up at a sheer wall called the Desert Facade is certainly awe-inspiring. Here at the confluence of the Kwagunt Creek and Colorado River, the Desert Facade is thought to be the steepest canyon wall in the Grand Canyon area. These incredible Southwestern canyons are cut by extremely powerful forces of sand and rock laden water flows and other less intense forces of erosion. Here in northwest Arizona the entire Grand Canyon area holds the most complete and most studied rock layers on Earth. Harboring both marine and terrestrial fossils, forty major sedimentary layers have been exposed by the Colorado River and it tributaries. The beginnings of the canyon making process occurred about five to six million years ago, and while the river began to erode the upper layers of earth, tectonic forces pushed up the Colorado Plateau, creating a deeper and deeper canyon. While there is a strong consensus about the age of the rock layers, how the mile deep canyon was formed is still actively debated and studied.

     Nankoweap-Kwagunt Trip Map


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