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A Remote Location

National Monument Covers Vast, Nearly Roadless Area

The dinosaur being excavated was found in the middle of the Kaiparowits Plateau, part of the Grand-Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The entire monument encompasses about 770,000 hectares (1.9 million acres) of land in southern Utah and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It is located between Bryce Canyon National Park on the western side and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on the eastern side.

The Kaiparowits Plateau is the middle section of this vast monument—with the Grand Staircase portion to the west and the Escalante River and Canyons to the east.

The Kaiparowits Plateau encompasses about 260,000 hectares (1,000 sq. mi.—the size of Rhode Island—and rises in elevation from about 600 meters (2,000 ft.) on the southern end to about 2,100 meters (7,000 ft.) on the northern end. This continuous incline of the Plateau has given the small amount of water flowing through it immense power to sculpt mesas, canyons, and other spectacular geologic features.

The Kaiparowits Plateau. Who knows what secrets these rocks will reveal? (Photo by Jerry Sintz, BLM)

But looking beyond the geologic beauty of the Plateau, we find that it is a virtual treasure trove of fossils. In fact, the sedimentary rock of the Kaiparowits Plateau contains the best, most continuous fossil record of the Cretaceous Period, which lasted from 136-65 million years ago and marked the end of the age of dinosaurs.


Last updated: 10-23-2009