Project Description

T

he remote and scenic area encompassed by the Red Rock Plateau is north of Nokai Dome, west of the Red House Cliffs, south of White Canyon and southwest of Moss Back Butte and the Tables of the Sun. This magnificent place within the Bears Ears region includes the Mars-like landscapes of the Red, Blue and Blue Notch Canyons. Even more isolated canyons such as Crystal Springs, Knowles and Forgotten Canyons are not served by road access. Above the canyons are the spectacular and largely inaccessible Mancos and Wingate Mesas, whose large roadless areas remain untouched and their cultural sites largely unseen. Incised with canyons these 5,000-6,000 feet elevation mesas are hard to reach even on foot, and for that reason, they retain their primeval character. Further south, Moqui Canyon, whose southern entry is via a feature called the Sandslide, is a grand, magnificent, and rarely visited canyon lined with spring-fed cottonwood galleries. The plentiful water here that fed a vibrant society in ancient times is now reduced to a seasonal trickle.

These remarkable and wild places hold a myriad of undocumented and untouched cultural sites and epitomize “wilderness character.” The isolated nature of these undocumented sacred cultural sites leaves them threatened and vulnerable to looting. Because these areas are among the most primitive places in the lower 48 states, they offer outstanding solitude and primitive backcountry recreation opportunities. The area is as close to “terra incognita” as one can get in the modern world.