[Photo] Your Next Hiking Trip: Paria Canyon

A view of the Wave, one of the many stunning geological formations in the Paria Canyon (Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness) in Airzona. The photo is completely unenhanced. (Adam Marland/ U.S. Department of the Interior)

A view of the Wave, one of the many stunning geological formations in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness area in Airzona. The photo is completely unenhanced. (Adam Marland/ U.S. Department of the Interior)

The Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness is a wilderness area created by the United States Congress in 1984 to protect the natural splendor of Arizona. A rugged 112,500 acres of winding stone corridors, narrow gorges, and geologic formations make it a hot spot for the more adventurous sort of tourist.

Among the impressive geological formations is “The Wave,” seen above. Ironically, water had little to do with the formation of “The Wave.” It is what developed out of the friable Navajo sandstone outcrops after millennia of sand-carrying strong winds being driven against its surface – a stunning display of Jurassic sedimentary structures.

Read more about Paria Cliffs at the Website of the U.S. Deparment of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management or, for a more scientific/geological approach, check out this poster by David Loopse and Joseph Mason.

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