San Rafael Swell

1-18 Pictures

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."

Context: Desert