Upheaval Dome

Upheaval Dome, Island in the Sky District, Canyonlands


The origins of Upheaval Dome in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park were unknown for a long time. It was theorized that the dome was either the result of a large salt plug forced up through rock layers, or the formation was a result of a meteorite impact. The recent discovery of shocked quartz settled the debate. Shocked quartz can only be found in areas near nuclear explosions and meteorite impacts. The result of the meteor collision is the exposure of rocks older than the surrounding sandstone layers and the formation of a nearly perfectly circular crater rim. A literally otherworldly site, the hike to the rim is relatively short and easy with good access via paved road. Other rim trails and relatively easy scrambling routes circumnavigate the entire crater and also provide access to the extremely alien looking dome inside the crater. The crater seems obvious from above.

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