As an avid hiker on BLM lands, I was interested in an exploration of the Muddy Mountains Wilderness in Clark County. Though close to Las Vegas, I had heard that visitation of the area was low. It seemed like my kind of place. Access is somewhat difficult but I was pleased to find excellent exposures of the red, Aztec Sandstone on my hike toward Muddy Peak. These outcrops are essentially fossilized sand dunes from a Sahara-size desert that existed here about 150 million years ago. The “cross bedding” or cross cutting layers observed in this image are also visible in the same Jurassic-Triassic formation as exposed in Valley of Fire State Park and Red Rock Canyon NCA. I didn’t expect to see it in the Muddys. The interesting aspect of this picture is that it’s from an area that few have visited. In general, people may look at an image of the Aztec Sandstone and say it’s Utah but no, this is Nevada.

Chip Carroon

Image Copyright © 2013 Chip Carroon – All Rights Reserved.