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Geology of the National Parks - Death Valley


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Golden Canyon stop 8

Golden Canyon badlands
The imposing rock of the Red Cathedral overlies fine grained lake deposits at our last stop in Golden Canyon. Photo by Ray Nordeen, NPS.

The Red Cathedral

Notice the change from the relatively gentle yellow slopes in the foreground to the steeper red cliffs beyond. This change in topography is due to a difference in rock type. Being more resistant to erosion, the rocks of the Red Cathedral form steep cliffs. These cliffs are composed of conglomerate similar to that exposed near the mouth of Golden Canyon. The conglomerate of Red Cathedral is also interpreted to be deposits of ancient alluvial fans. The red color is produced by the oxidation of iron, similar to the process that forms rust.

You've reached the last stop in Golden Canyon - If you're going...

Furnace Creek Formation in time
geologic time scale
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