Cataract Canyon, Canyonlands National Park

5.0
#12 of 15 in Nature in Canyonlands National Park
Cataract Canyon is a 46mi canyon of the Colorado River located within Canyonlands National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in southern Utah. It begins at the Colorado's confluence with the Green River and its downstream terminus is the confluence with the Dirty Devil River. The lower half of the canyon is submerged beneath Lake Powell when the lake is at its normal high water elevation of.
Cataract Canyon is cut by the Colorado River into the Colorado Plateau, a vast continental uplift comprising much of the American Southwest. Until approximately 80 million years ago, the Colorado Plateau was near sea level. Over millions of years, a series of inland oceans transgressed onto and regressed from the region, resulting in a series of horizontally deposited rock layers. Approximately 70 to 80 million years ago, a series of mountain-building events called the Laramide orogeny uplifted the entire region. The Colorado River subsequently cut through the rock layers, exposing them. The oldest rock layer visible in Cataract Canyon is the Paradox Formation, which was deposited approximately 320 million years ago.
Indigenous peoples, most likely of the Fremont culture, inhabited the Canyonlands area long before European settlers arrived. Rock art and ruins have been found in Cataract Canyon that are at least 800 years old.
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Cataract Canyon Reviews
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7 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We used the outfitter CRATE, who were recommended by my daughter who lives in the area. They were very professional. The float itself was phenomenal. The canyon is absolutely beautiful and the 31 rapi...  more »
  • I was very impressed with the level of efficiency and safety awareness that our trip was organized with. The level of experience that all of our guides brought on this trip, including navigation, camp...  more »

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