Dutton Peak trip
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This view gives you a good look at Bryce Canyon looking east towards Powell Point, Barney Top, Griffin Top and the Aquarius Plateau.
The Aquarius Plateau is a physiographic region within Garfield and Wayne counties in south-central Utah. The plateau, an uplift on the much larger Colorado Plateau, is the highest in North America. It is over 900 square miles (2330 km²) of mostly forested highland, much of which is part of Dixie National Forest.
The plateau includes Boulder Mountain which peaks at 11328 feet at Bluebell Knoll and has over 50,000 acres (200 km²) of rolling hilly terrain above 11,000 feet (3350 m).
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Aquarius Plateau is the highest timbered plateau in North America. Crossing the plateau, Griffin Top and Posey Lake Roads are narrow single lane dirt and gravel roads that are accessible to passenger cars. They will take you through the Dixie National Forest and provide views of the surrounding canyons from the plateau rim. I have visited much of the plateau and will head back to see more of it next summer ( in 2010)
Aquarius Plateau (Garfield County, Wayne County) is south of Bicknell, Torrey, Grover, and Teasdale. Northwest is Antimony and south are Escalante, Boulder, and the Escalante River. The plateau is approximately thirty-five miles long, fifteen miles wide, and was named in the mid-1870s by A. H. Thompson of the Powell Surveys. According to many this is the grandest of all the high plateaus.
It is best described by some of the explorers, geologists, and surveyors who worked their way over the plateau. Dellenbaugh reported that "The slopes we were crossing were full of leaping torrents and clear lakes. They were so covered with these that the plateau afterwards was given the name Aquarius." Captain Dutton best puts into words the sublime and awesome grandeur of this vast primitive wilderness, "Its broad summit is clad with dense forests of spruces opening in grassy parks, and sprinkled with scores of lakes filled by the melting snows. We have seen it afar off, its long straight crest-line stretched across the sky like the threshold of another world. On three sides, south, west, and east, it is walled by dark battlements of volcanic rock, and its long slopes beneath descend into the dismal desert. The explorer who sits upon the brink of its parapet looking off into the southern and eastern haze, who skirts its lava-cap or clambers up and down its vast ravines, who builds his campfire by the borders of its snow fed lakes or stretches himself beneath its giant pines and spruces, forgets that he is a geologist and feels himself a poet . . . [I have] seen its dull, expressionless ramparts grow upward into walls of majestic proportions and sublime import."
Thompson is claimed to be the first white man to cross the back of the Aquarius. Today local usage breaks the Aquarius into three main sections: Boulder Mountain is east, Escalante Mountain is west, and the Aquarius Plateau is in the center but includes all three. The highest point is Bluebell Knoll at 11,253' (3,430m).
John W. Van Cott (thanks to utah travel center)
Image ID: 574452