The study area is on the eastern edge of the San Rafael Swell. The San Rafael Reef is a nearly north-south trending hogback that dips steeply eastward. The central and northern parts of the WSA are composed mostly of multicolored sandstone mesas, faulted and joined so as to give a checkerboard appearance. The rest of the study area consists of canyons from 200 to 1,000 feet deep that drain eastward. Fins jut vertically from the desert floor in the northeastern part of the study area. The study area is increasingly popular for rock climbing and canyoneering.