The La Plata Mountains as seen from above the authorís

Durango Bill's

Grand Canyon 3-D Tour

Deer Creek Falls to Kanab Creek
Grand Canyon Miles 136 to 144

3-D view of the
            Grand Canyon - centered at Mile 138

   View to the west-northwest with Deer Creek (and Deer Creek Falls) joining the Colorado River in the right foreground. In the middle distance, 140 Mile Canyon joins from the left and Fishtail Canyon enters from right. Kanab Creek enters from the right along the extreme upper edge.

   A popular hike for rafting groups is to climb up from the river at the base of Deer Creek Falls to at least reach the open valley above the falls (small green area near the lower edge). As the trail zigzags up out of the schist and Tapeats Sandstone that forms the cliff next to the river, a spectacular view unfolds. ("Throat clutching view" might be equally descriptive.) If you continue to follow the creek up to Deer Spring (extreme lower edge of the picture), you get to see another large waterfall where the stream bursts out of a cave system in the limestone cliffs.

   The trail up from the river uses a slope that is the result of a large slump (very slow motion landslide). Water is able to seep down through the broken material of the slump while the underlying solid rock keeps the water near the surface. As a result vegetation (including one of the few locations that Poison Ivy exists in the canyon) is able to grow in areas several hundred feet away from the river.

3-D view of the Grand Canyon -
              centered at Mile 146

   View to the west with 140 Mile Canyon along the lower left edge and Fishtail Canyon to the right. Kanab Creek enters from the upper right edge while Fishtail Mesa is between Kanab and Fishtail Canyons. As we go downstream from here, the Kaibab/Toroweap/Coconino cliff that marks the outer rim of the canyon gets further away from the river while the flat Esplanade surface becomes more predominate.

   The inner canyon becomes precipitous for the next 25 river miles as the strata containing the slope-forming Bright Angel Shale dips below river level. This brings the Redwall/Muav Limestone layers down to river level, and this combination produces a massive cliff. Another factor contributing to the steep inner gorge is the river's canyon-cutting that has propagated upstream from the Toroweap Fault.

   The Sinyala Fault extends diagonally up and left from the center of the lower edge. Past movement along the fault has fractured the rocks making it easier for erosion to start digging side canyons.
Return to river miles 128 to 136

Continue to river miles 144 to 152

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