Canyonlands National Park, 337,598 acres (136,679 hectares), SE Utah; est. 1964. Located in a desert region, the park contains a maze of deep canyons and many unusual features carved by wind and water, including spires, pinnacles, and arches; surrounding mesas rise more than 7,800 ft (2,377 m). Cataract Canyon, through which the raging waters of the Colorado and Green rivers flow, contains one of the world's largest exposures of red sandstone. Island in the Sky, a plateau overlooking the junction of the Green and Colorado rivers, has walls that drop in giant steps 2,200 ft (671 m) to the canyon floor. Upheaval Dome, pushed upward by the pressure of surrounding rock on underground salt deposits, contains a crater 1 mi (1.6 km) wide and 1,500 ft (457 m) deep. Also found in the park are many Native American petroglyphs drawn on rocks c.1,000 years ago. Bighorn sheep, mule deer, and beaver live in the park. See National Parks and Monuments (table).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.