Yes, it’s that time again. Wacky, weird, interesting, fun facts, all about Canyonlands National Park. Check ‘em out, and if you know of any more, tell me about it in the comments section.
1. Interesting fact: Canyonlands is largely covered by cryptobiotic crust, a living soil, comprised of algae, lichens, and bacteria. Please try to avoid stepping on it, as it is extremely important to combating soil erosion and is also very fragile.
2. Fun fact: Cataract Canyon is a popular rapids section of the Colorado River. The highest recorded flow was in 1984 at 114,900 cfs, or cubic feet per second.
3. Daring fact: The first known successful rafting of Cataract Canyon was by the 1869 John Wesley Powell expedition. Wooden boats, my friends. Talk about brave!
[photo courtesy of razvan.orendovici/Flickr]
4. Science-y fact: Cataract Canyon may be one of the world’s most actively filling canyons. Scientists discovered 260 feet of sediment below the water’s surface.
5. Interesting fact: Naturally-occurring small depressions in sandstone called “potholes” collect water, which is a vital resource in this extremely dry climate.
[photo courtesy of Rob Lee/Flickr]
6. Weird fact: Nineteenth century cowboys corralled wild horses onto today’s Dead Horse Point State Park. Supposedly, one herd left on the point died of thirst. This is a terrible story if true… And don’t worry, the view is much, much more gorgeous than the name implies.
7. Outlaw fact: The Robbers Roost hideout of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch gang is near the Maze district. It was one of the last mapped sections of the lower United States. There are so many twisty, tight slot canyons that full mapping couldn’t happen until planes were invented so someone could fly over and finally accurately see the area.
10. Artsy fact: Pictographs (ancient paintings on sandstone, called rock art) in the Horseshoe Canyon area show human habitation 4,000 years ago.
11. Yummy fact: Local pinyon pines produce delicious pine nuts, which can only be harvested every three to seven years.
12. Protectionist fact: In December 2008, activist Tim DeChristopher attempted to save pristine public areas near Canyonlands from oil and gas drilling leases.
[photo courtesy of minniemouseaunt/Flickr]