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The Wave Rock

America’s great western frontiers have long been in the sights of tourists exploring the endless state parks with their waterfalls, geysers, and unrealistic natural features.  It’s no surprise the area features in many movies, especially with those ruler-straight roads that disappear off into the distance. © Gabe Farnsworth
One feature that is not often on the tourist trail (but should be) is the “Wave Rock” – also known as Coyote Buttes or Paria Canyon. © Gabe Farnsworth
Pictures speak a thousand words, especially in this case, but a little background explains how this surreal landscape came to the surface. The land is basically petrified sand dunes, frozen solid over a period of 190 million years.  In the surface are various mineral ores, such as iron, which contribute to the unique and changing colors.  The smooth, wavy feel has occurred as rain and wind have eroded the surfacelike a perfect painting. The Wave isn’t the only thing to see in Paria Canyon, there are a number of other photogenic hiking trails, and don’t miss the flora and fauna, some of which is only found here in the canyon. "The Wave" – Australia Wave Rock also has a “sister” rock formation in Western Australia, called simply “the Wave” because of its uncanny resemblance to a giant surf wave. Because the local district considers the rocks to be in a fragile state, you must apply for permission to visit. Visitors are limited to 20 people per day, so be sure to plan your trip in advance to avoid disappointment. AH

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  • Matt

    June 21, 2012

    The wave rock in WA is better when it rains. The colors come out of the rock.

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