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Astounding Rock Formations

52 Week Adventure Challenge

10.02.17

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Astounding Rock Formations

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  • Elephant Rock is a popular feature and doesn't require a long hike.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • A bit of rock scrambling reveals a new perspective at Valley of Fire State Park.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Wind caves and arches are scattered throughout Valley of Fire State Park.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • The Fire Wave feature in Valley of Fire State Park was a secret of the park rangers until 2013.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Little Finland has surreal sandstone formations and shapes in one of the most desolate areas of Gold Butte.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Native American petroglyphs along the Petroglyph/Falling Man Trail in Gold Butte National monument. Many rock formations are also culturally significant sites.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Hickman Natural Bridge in Capitol Reef National Park.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Hiking through the narrowest part of Lower Muley Twist Loop in Capitol Reef National Park feels like being in a maze.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Sunset on the Scenic Drive, Capitol Reef National Park.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Temples of the Sun and Moon, Lower Cathedral Valley, Capitol Reef National Park.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Surrounded by goblins in Goblin Valley State Park.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Looking northwest across valley regions one and two in the Valley of Goblins. The San Rafael Swell and Wild Horse Butte rise in the distance.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • South-facing overlook of region three in the Valley of Goblins. The remote, rugged Henry Mountains are in the far distance.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Erosion-resistant rock sits atop softer layers, resulting in shapes that resemble torsos and heads.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Sunlight bouncing into the sombrero at Mexican Hat.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Looking back on the Mexican Hat formation from near the river.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • One of Utah's most impressive hoodoos, Mexican Hat.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Under Delicate Arch's shadow.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Double Arch in Arches National Park.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • View from inside Tower Arch, Arches National Park.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • The first glimpse of the Marching Men, Arches National Park.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • The Fairyland Loop provides an endless array of dramatic views.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Fairyland Loop.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Green trees mix with the sandy, brown landscape on the Fairyland Loop.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Rock windows like this one in Bryce Canyon are formed by annual freeze and thaw cycles.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • View of China Wall, Fairyland Loop.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Hoodoos like these are common in the backcountry in Petrified Forest National Park.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Metate Arch, one of the most fascinating formations in Devil's Garden.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • View over the southern end of Devil's Garden.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • One of the Four Wise Men stares into the sunset, Devil's Garden.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Metate Arch in Devils Garden.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Hvítserkur means "white shirt" in Icelandic.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Hvitserkur Rock Formation in Iceland.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Landscape Arch.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • A view of the toadstools as you approach the rock formations.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • A view of the surrounding desert and rock formations along Toadstools Trail.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Garden of the Gods.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Climbers on crags near Table Rock Trail. - Astounding Rock Formations
  • Chimney Rock.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Along the Split Rock Trail.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Sculptured Rocks Natural Area.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Devils Punchbowl.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • City of Rocks.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • Morning over City of Rocks.- Astounding Rock Formations
  • The cave at camp 15 in the City of Rocks provides a sheltered picnic area.- Astounding Rock Formations
Article
Contributor

From towering hoodoos to offshore arches to gravity-defying pillars, rock formations make for some of the most iconic and legendary landscapes anywhere in the world. Outdoor destinations with interesting rock formations are otherworldly, interesting, and undeniably awe inspiring.    

Not only is the geologic story behind each of these rock formations fascinating, they make the perfect backdrop for any outdoor adventure. Picture yourself gazing out over the horizon and seeing an incredibly unique rock formation silhouetted against the sky. Or clambering through dazzlingly red sandstone towers as you hike or climb a peak.

Rock formations have the unique ability to evoke a sense of exploration and wonder in the heart of the beholder. Do yourself a favor and go explore some as soon as possible.

Here in the U.S., millions flock to the high concentration of interesting rocks in the desert Southwest each year, although there are thousands of other destinations that are equally mind blowing throughout the rest of the country and the world. Rock climbers seek out these kinds of destinations, but so do hikers, mountain bikers, campers, and other types of outdoor adventurers.

There are fascinating rock formations in every corner of the world, and here are a few spectacular examples:

International: 

  • Hvitserkur rock formation in northwest Iceland​

Southwest U.S. Region

Other U.S. Destinations

#52AdventureChallenge

We believe good things come from people spending time outside. We strive to provide inspiration and supporting information on incredible adventures to make it easy for you to get outdoors and explore new places. We understand that life is busy, but we strongly encourage you to make time for outdoor recreation on a weekly, if not daily, basis. To keep you inspired all year, we've put together a list of 52 geologic features and adventure themes. Check them out and join us in our #52AdventureChallenge!

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