Rose Canyon, Salt Lake County, Utah.
Photographer: Michael Vanden Berg

Step Mountain is aptly named for several resistant Tertiary-age andesite dikes that display exceptional horizontal columnar joints.

Dr. Jim Kirkland, State Paleontologist with the Utah Geological Survey, will be speaking at Anasazi State Park ( this Friday, July 12, at 1:00 pm as part of the Boulder Heritage Festival. Jim’s talk is titled “Utah’s Outstanding Dinosaur Heritage.” This event is free to the public. For more information, go to

Cretaceous Mancos Shale, Uinta Basin, Utah

A research team from the Utah Geological Survey and the University of Utah presented the results of their on-going work in the Uinta Basin to members of the petroleum industry recently. Meeting in Denver on June 28, the UGS and university geologists discussed their research on the oil and gas potential of the Cretaceous Mancos Shale, which lies several thousand feet below the surface in most of the Basin. Although oil and gas from shale have made energy headlines in many states, production from the Mancos will be a challenge, due in part to its thickness compared to other U.S. shale plays. About 20 geologists and engineers representing 10 companies with interests in the Uinta Basin attended the meeting. The research is being funded by the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, through a contract from the U.S. Department of Energy.

See for more information about the project.

Wasatch Range, Utah & Wasatch Counties, Utah
Photographer: Robert F. Biek

Framed by blooming gray rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus) above the east shore of Deer Creek Reservoir, Mt. Timpanogos is formed of Pennsylvanian-age, shallow- marine limestone and sandstone of the Oquirrh Formation. The small patch of snow is in Cascade Cirque, one of several glacier-carved basins on the east side of the 11,749-foot-tall mountain.

The Department of Natural Resources, The Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, and The Lone Peak Hot Shot Crew, honor the 19 Fire Fighters of the Granite Mountain Hot Shot Crew from Arizona who gave their lives serving others.

East of the Green River, Grand County, Utah.

Photographer: Don DeBlieux

A summer evening arrives with the promise of cooler temperatures at the UGS paleontology camp near the Crystal Geyser Dinosaur Quarry.

Capitol Reef National Park, Garfield County, Utah
Photographer: Paul Kuehne

The Waterpocket Fold affords a wonderful view of the geology of Grand Gulch. The Entrada Sandstone (reddish-orange rock on the right) and Navajo Sandstone (pale-orange rock on the left and middle distance) were formed in a desert  environment beginning about 185 million years ago in the Jurassic Period.

Cookie Jar Butte,Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Kane County.
Photographer: Jim Davis

Cookie Jar Butte, named for the gigantic, cylindrical weathering pits that dot its peninsula, towers above Padre Bay on Lake Powell.

Dollar Lake, High Uintas Wilderness, Duchesne County, Utah
Photographer: Mike Hylland

To the south of Dollar Lake in the Uinta Mountains, cliffs of Precambrian-age sedimentary strata rise abruptly at the head of the Henrys Fork basin. The leftmost peak lit by the morning sun is Utah’s highest mountain, Kings Peak (13,528 feet), which was named for Clarence King, first director of the U.S. Geological Survey.