In the same year the United States declared independence, a trek was taking place in the Colorado Plateau region. The Dominguez-Escalante expedition was carried out in 1776 to find a route between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Southern California. The expedition was challenging, and due to hardships the explorers never reached their destination.
The above photo was taken on Sand Mountain in the St George Field Office. The sandy conditions made it difficult for travelers. Escalante wrote about staying here in his journal before continuing into Northern Arizona. Today, this area is popular for off-highway vehicles, and tough hikers who walk the vertical red cliffs like the Dominguez-Escalante party did over 235 years ago.
Just down the cliff face is the Warner Valley Dinosaur Track Site. If you ever visit the dinosaur tracks, look up on the cliffs above and you will see this 4 foot tall monument.
Story and photo: Braden Yardley, Red Cliffs and Beaver Dam Wash NCA Park Ranger