Fantasy Canyon, Utah

Leave a Comment


Fantasy Canyon is located about 25 miles south of Vernal, in northeastern Utah, United States. This small area, which is not really a canyon, is packed with some of the most uniquely weathered rock formations bearing colorful descriptive names such as “Flying Witch”, “Screaming Man” and “Alien Head”. The site itself is known locally as “The Devil’s Playground” and “Hades Pit” —Hades is the lord of the underworld in Greek mythology.

During the Eocene Epoch, about 38 – 50 million years ago, the Unita Basin was covered by a large lake called Lake Uinta. Fantasy Canyon was located along what would have been the east shore of the lake. The lake began to fill with sediments from the surrounding area and the once loose sands, silts, and clays were forged into sandstone and shale. Localized uplifting of this rock occurred, and this material began to erode. Because of different rates of weathering, the more durable sandstone remained while the more easily weathered siltstone and shale washed away, yielding this spectacular scenery.


Photo credit: James St. John/Flickr

The formations in Fantasy Canyon will eventually weather away and then topple and erode into sand, but new formations will appear as the topsoil washes away. Because the delicate formations are so fragile the area is referred to as “Nature’s China Shop.”


Photo credit: rjcox/Flickr


Photo credit: rjcox/Flickr


Photo credit: rjcox/Flickr


Photo credit: rjcox/Flickr


The Flying Witch. Photo credit: rjcox/Flickr


Photo credit: rjcox/Flickr


Photo credit: James St. John/Flickr


Photo credit: James St. John/Flickr


Photo credit: James St. John/Flickr

Sources: via Atlas Obscura

Subscribe to our Newsletter and get articles like this delieverd straight to your inbox


Post a Comment

Amusing Planet appreciates your comments, except when they are SPAM. Such comments will be deleted immediately before they appear on this page. Spamming is futile, so please avoid.

To ensure that this page is free of spam, all comments are moderated, so it may take a while for your comments to appear.