Confluence at Navajo Mountain

Confluence at Navajo Mountain

Following the wandering lines of Glen Canyon to the point where the Colorado and San Juan Rivers converge, we look southward toward Navajo Mountain. This dominant feature rising above the plain is a freestanding laccolith. The sedimentary layers of earth pushed up by the underlying dome shaped igneous rock look like colorful layers of fondant draping. This mountain has played a part in the stories of the Anasazi, the Hopi, and the Navajo and as a holy place upon the earth, it stands as a permanent monument to the forces that define our world. The Hopi call it Tokonave, “Heart of the Earth.” The Navajo call it Naatsisʼáán, “Earth Head.” The map shows us that Navajo Mountain sits on the border of Utah and Arizona but it is wholly contained within the Navajo Nation. These names hold greater value in describing its significance than any name on a map might achieve and the distinctions of borders and ownership are but momentary arguments dwarfed by the mystery and magnitude of our geologic history.

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