Scenic USA - Utah

Castle Valley

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Castle Valley Icons - Castle Valley, Utah

Photo by Tom Blandford
Tom Blandford Photography

     Southeastern Utah's vibrant red rock formations lie among the world's most famous desert settings, well preserved at Arches and Canyonlands national parks as well as Monument Valley (where it spans the border with Arizona). Here, among the southeast’s rugged sandstone terrain, are some of the last cities and towns to be settled in the state.
     Similar to the sacred rock icons to south in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Castle Valley has its own unique landmarks. Towering above cliffs that mark the valley's northeast border, rock pinnacles, called the Castleton Tower (Castle Rock), Priest and Nuns, and Adobe Mesa, are the focus of any sightseer’s gaze. Although these towering spires and fins appear unchanged year after year, the constant geological processes which formed these immense scenic wonders are still at work today.
     Castle Valley (the actual valley, not the town) extends from the Colorado River nearly 12 miles into the foothills of the La Sal Mountains. Enamored by this marvelous scenery, Castle Valley’s small town population has experienced a high growth rate. Despite potential flooding, rock slides and heavy erosion, Castle Valley has seen an expansion rate of 13 percent during the last three years. Worried by weather related erosion, studies by the Utah Geological Survey Group hope to guide homeowners, developers and builders toward safer building practices and better site selection.
     The La Sal Mountain Loop links Route 128 to the city of Moab and creates a marvelous scenic drive through Castle Valley and southeastern Utah's grand mountain scenery and red rock icons. A vacationer’s wonderland, this area is filled with countless natural attractions, recreational adventures, ancient dino tracks, petroglyphs and mysterious Anasazi cliff dwellings. Without a doubt, seeing this area will create lasting memories.

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