The “heart of Utah’s Mighty Five” National Parks
The Colorado Plateau was the last explored region in the continental United States. Bounded by the Grand Canyon on the south and the Uintah Basin on the north, this New England sized landform is often referred to as the Canyonlands, Canyon Country or 4-Corners Area. It is the largest tract of unspoiled territory in the lower forty-eight and is the home of more formally designated parks, monuments, conservation and wilderness areas than you can shake a stick at. Modern writers have mythologized this landscape as the “Great Back-of-Beyond” and “The Place Nobody Knew”.
Here is how others have described this spectacular land:
Hondoo’s trips focus on scenic and distinctive landforms in the middle section of the Colorado Plateau west of the Colorado River.
“All the scenic features of this canyon land are on a giant scale, strange weird. Every river entering the drainage has cut a canyon; every lateral creek has cut a canyon; every brook runs in a canyon; every rill, born of a shower and living only during these showers, has cut a canyon; so that the whole upper basin of the Colorado River is traversed by a labyrinth of these deep gorges.”
– John Wesley Powell, explorer
“This is the Land of the Sleeping Rainbow.”
– Ute Indian and Navajo Indian legend
“The plateaus commonly rise above one another in precipitous steps, in some places hundreds and even thousands of feet. The facade of cliffs separating the terrace levels appear as majestic walls, murals, pilasters, and columns forming the most dramatic features in a dramatic landscape… The whole is a grand masterpiece of erosion and color.”
– C. Gregory Crampton, historian
“Probably no area in the nation displays more of the raw, unobscured rock formation than here… The Colorado Plateau is the most distinctive province in the United States, being world-famous not only for many scenic attractions but also for the diversity of geologic features displayed with textbook simplicity.”
– William L. Stokes, geologist