Welcome to Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, an isolated and spectacular landscape. Tucked away in north-central Arizona, this Monument is a wonderland of geologic formations and rugged terrain that supports a rich array of desert wildlife and vegetation. Their is even an experimental population of California condors, reintroduced to the area in 1996.
A National Treasure
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is a geologic treasure. Its centerpiece is the majestic Paria Plateau, a grand terrace lying between two great geologic structures, the East Kaibab and Echo Cliffs monoclines. The Vermilion Cliffs, which lie along the southern and eastern edge of the Paria Plateau, rise 1,500 feet in a spectacular array of multicolored layers of shale and sandstone. Along the east side of the plateau, the Paria River winds its way to the mighty Colorado River. Over eons of time, sedimentary rocks eroded, forming spectacular natural amphitheaters, arches, and massive sandstone walls in the 2,500-foot deep canyon.
These dramatic cliffs were named by John Wesley Powell in 1869, as he embarked upon his expedition of the Grand Canyon down the Colorado River. The Monument was established on November 9, 2000, in keeping with the mission of the Bureau of Land Management National Landscape Conservation System to conserve, protect, and restore our nation's natural treasures for present and future generations.
The colors are such as no pigment can portray. They are deep, rich, and variegated, and so luminous are they, that light seems to glow or shine out of the rock rather than to be reflected from it.
-Major Clarence E. Dutton, 1880