USGS photographer W.B. Emery took this photograph in 1917. The San Rafael Reef is a dramatic geologic uplift running for 40 miles along the eastern border of the Swell. The Wingate sandstone formation has been tilted almost vertical, forming a jagged skyline that is visible from miles away. Colors in the Reef range from yellows, tans, and grays to brown, orange, vermilion and burgundy. The San Rafael Swell was the last area of the United States to be surveyed because it was so rough and remote. This collection of United States Geological Survey photographs date between 1911 and 1936.
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