San Rafael Swell
The San Rafael Swell is scenic geological formation on I70 in Central Utah. Like Capitol Reef, the swell was formed by a geological uplift. It is a large bulge in the surface of the earth. The top layers of sediment eroded away leaving towering cliffs in the Navajo and Wingate formations. Sandstone tends to have different erosion patterns at different angles of the stata. As a result you will see some extremely interesting formations in the erosion patterns.
The east side of the Swell is called the "San Rafael Reef". Here, the strata is at an extremely steep angle. In the central portion of the swell, the Sandstone is horizontal, and you see towering buttes and fanastically deep canyons. In other places of the swell, the sandstone was not stable, and simply eroded away.
Different several references spell the name as "San Raphael." Modern maps prefer "San Rafael."
- Interstate 70 (51 pictures) I70 cuts through the southern portion of the San Raphael Swell. There are several scenic overlooks. Plan a few extra hours on your trip to take in the scenery.
- Utah State (59 pictures) The Swell is in Central Utah.
- Buckhorn Wash (104 pictures) Buckhorn Wash runs through the heart of the Swell, and crosses the San Raphael river between Mexican Mountain and Bottle Neck Peak.
- Green River, Utah (15 pictures) The San Raphael Swell is just west of Green River, Utah.
- The Wedge Overlook (23 pictures) The Wedge Overlook on the western end of the Swell provides an exhilerating view of the canyons carved by the San Rafael River.