Big Badlands Overlook

Sketch: Big Badlands Overlook

The sun illuminates the sediment layers, the wind and water carve them into sensual formations. I let the wind and sun (70s today!) and a stream of visitors grit-scour all dark thoughts of “The Day After” from my mind. The landscape sweeps out our cobwebs.

As the late Stewart Udall once wrote:

“By a fascinating irony, what we have called in the past the “badlands” turn out to be good lands, and very good lands indeed. I like to tell the story that is related by one of the Utah historians whose grandparents came across some of the desolate southern Utah country with which Powell was so familiar. In those days water was so scarce and the weather so harsh that the people referred to this arid country as “the land God forgot.” This historian writes that now, 100 years later, we see that it was indeed the land “God saved for Himself.”

The sense of scale at Big Badlands Overlook is pretty stunning, both in the long view down into the White River valley and lower grasslands, and in the sheer drop of the eroding wall itself, prairie to thousand-foot tumble in just a few steps.  This photo shows just a tiny bit of the scene, like a sliver of apple, as one is looking back from the jutting overlook platform.  But I love the reference-point of my truck in the upper corner, insignificant as an ant.

Big Badlands Overlook

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