Vermillion Cliffs – Red Rock Paradise


Vermillion Cliffs – Images by Djuna Ivereigh

No, we’re not in Indonesia anymore. In May 2009 I was lucky enough to get back to the Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, a rapsberry swirl of Navajo Sandstone on the Colorado Plateau. Smack dab between Arizona and Utah. In the United States of America.

Back in the day, access to this geological playground could be secured with a shoulder rub that would earn you a bit of map pointing by the right BLM official. Then photographers got wind of it. These days, permits are all by lottery, and your chances are about one in a hundred that a bingo machine (yes, a bingo machine!) will pop up your number for the coveted northern section (a.k.a, “The Wave”). Not to worry. This southern section is well-guarded by natural obstacles and is well worth the extra trouble of 4WDing and orienteering.

I was just happy to see naked rock. Not much of that here in Indo for us recovering geologists.