Sixflashphoto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sixflashphoto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Driving Along an Ancient Ocean Floor

Shaka Guide

Listen to audio story here:

How does it feel to drive along the bottom of an ocean? That’s right! This area was once the floor of an ancient tropical sea. Many of the hills here are made of marine shells and bones that turned into limestone. Over millions of years, after the water receded, massive sand dunes formed. The minerals in the sediment oxidized when exposed to the air, giving us the vivid red, orange and buff-colored rocks we see today. And, in case you’re wondering, the color ‘buff’ would go between the brown and beige crayons in your crayon box.

…And, when everything dried up, the sand dunes solidified into sandstone, known as Aztec Sandstone. 

I recommend that you hike at least a little of the Calico Hills trail, coming up next, to get up close to the red rock. If you’d prefer a shorter, easier hike ‘round these hills, I’ll point one out later. But even if you’re not hiking, pull in at the next stop to enjoy the view. And picture yourself as a mermaid – or merman – swimming past these hills back when they were under the sea. Again, park ahead on the right at Calico-One.

Interested? Find more on our Red Rock Canyon tour!

shaka guide app qr code

Download The Shaka Guide App

Get The
Shaka Guide App