Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

Elkheart Cliffs and Farmland
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Elkheart Cliffs and Farmland
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 300mm Nikkor-M f/9 lens, polarizer, Fujicolor Pro 160S film, 99 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

Elkheart Cliffs and Farmland

US 89, Mt. Carmel, UT, 11/9/2006

After enjoying a week in Zion National Park in southwest Utah, a friend and I drove to Bryce Canyon, taking the most obvious route: UT 9 east followed by US 89 north. Along the way we traveled through Long Valley and the town of Mt. Carmel, where we spotted these striking bone-white bluffs from the highway (US 89 or State Street) between Mt. Carmel and Orderville. These are the Elkheart Cliffs, which are formed of the same Navajo sandstone seen in Zion Canyon, capped by Carmel Formation strata on the upthrusted east side of the Sevier fault. The Elkheart Cliffs climb to 6,842 feet above sea level and form the abrupt western edge of Glendale Bench, Skutumpah Terrace, and the vast Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The cliffs are about 1 1/2 miles from where we're standing by lush green Mt. Carmel farmland, irrigated by the waters of the east fork of the Virgin River. Here the elevation is 5,350 feet above sea level. The river flows left-to-right immediately behind the row of dormant trees. Beyond the trees and river lies more farmland, and then the Coal Hollow natural drainage from the cliffs. Farming along the Virgin River beneath the towering and scenic Elkheart Cliffs has a long tradition. The Virgin Anasazi were the prehistoric settlers in this region, living here until about the 13th century. These people were agriculturalists and maintained a diet consisting primarily of maize, developing their own check-dams and canal irrigation.

Elkheart Cliffs and Farmland

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