The Colorado Plateau - April 2019

Yet another pile of rocks, ya say? Well, for me, there's nothing quite like a pile of rocks with some nice soft lighting to make me smile. One could spend two lifetimes and never view all there is to see on the Colorado Plateau.

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And what is the Colorado Plateau, you ask? Well, the area includes quite a bit more land mass than just what is in Colorado. I suspect the name is primarily derived from the fact about 90% of the area is drained by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Encompassing 240,000 square miles, the Colorado Plateau straddles the region known as The Four Corners, where the states of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico meet. Ancient volcanic mountains, plateaus and buttes, deeply carved canyons, and amazing mountain ranges define this amazing area. I would say 90% of my photography has been in the Colorado Plateau. I'm simply awestruck every time I visit. Ten of our country's greatest national parks reside with the boundary of the Colorado Plateau. Add to that an astonishing 19 National Monuments and 30 wilderness areas. In my 5 decades plus on this earth, I've been fortunate to visit many of the national parks in the west. I just recently visited Zion National Park for the first time and now understand why they are having overwhelming visitation. It's a breathtaking place with monoliths that appear to stretch to the heavens. Considering my love for this region, I will be forever grateful for our past government officials that designated much of the region for protection. The Colorado Plateau deserves to be revered and protected for all generations that follow us.

Bears Ears National Monument, ruin,Ancestral Puebloans, rock art, cliff dwelling, house on fire, photo

A rather famous iconic spot referred to as "House on Fire Ruin." My understanding is that these structures were not lived in, but served as granaries.

Ancestral Puebloans are thought to have occupied the area at least 2,500 years ago. I don't believe all the cliff dwellings go back that far, but have read at least back to year range of 900-1200 AD. Regardless of exact age, it is still amazing to view these cliff dwellings and structures today. I also have seen plenty of rock art in this area as well.