Clear Creek Canyon
Clear Creek Canyon is located in the western part of the park and is a mecca for geology enthusiasts looking to explore different types of rock formations. The canyon consists of sedimentary sandstone, limestone, and shale that have been eroded away by Clear Creek over time, creating an intriguing landscape full of reds, oranges, yellows and greens in the cliffs. The canyon also features a variety of unique formations, such as hoodoos, fins and alcoves. The canyon is a great place to observe the power of water and explore the unique features of each type of rock. Visitors can also take part in activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing in the canyon.
Joe Lott Tuff
Discover the fascinating geological history of the park with its oldest rock unit, the 19-million-year-old Joe Lott Tuff. Named after an early Mormon pioneer, this rock formation was created by a powerful volcanic eruption that resulted in a massive ash avalanche. The nearby Mount Belknap caldera, formed by this eruption, adds to the park's geological wonders.
The Joe Lott Tuff, now exposed in the canyon's high cliffs, has undergone weathering, transforming its original colors of white, pink, and gray into darker shades. The weathered tuff, famously known as the "blackboard," showcases remarkable Fremont Indian rock art.
Above the Joe Lott Tuff, the Sevier River Formation paints a picture of the region's geological evolution. Comprising sandstones, siltstones, conglomerates, volcanic ashes, and lava flows, this formation marks a pivotal period around 5 to 14 million years ago. This timeframe coincides with the formation of the present-day Basin and Range area as the land underwent uplift and tilting. Explore the layers of sediment and volcanic remnants that reveal the intricate story of the park's landscape.
The Tushar Mountains
The Tushar Mountains are located in the eastern part of the park and are composed of volcanic rocks that were formed during the Oligocene Epoch about 34 million years ago. The mountains have a unique geologic history due to their isolation in the Great Basin Desert, which prevented them from eroding as quickly as other mountain ranges. As a result, these mountains feature some of the best preserved geological features in the region.
The Tushars consist primarily of volcanic tuff, breccia, and basaltic lavas. The highest peak is 11,500 feet above sea level, offering spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors to the park can also explore a variety of other features in this area such as landslides, cinder cones, lava tubes and hot springs.