Otherworldly Sunset and Rock Spire

July 22, 2021


Photographer: Marcin Zajac

Summary Author: Marcin Zajac & Cadan Cummings

Utah has some of the most otherworldly landscapes and this spire rising from the desolate badlands looks like something straight out of Star Wars. A product of extensive weathering, spires are highly eroded rock towers that are composed of a harder rock above layers of softer, less resistant strata.

The land around Hanksville, Utah is especially otherworldly because it features countless geologic features ranging from spires and rock buttes to the nearby San Rafael Swell. By no coincidence, the Mars Society selected a nearby location to build their Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) where interplanetary travel can be simulated with a crew of 6 to 8 people for several months at a time. Note the MDRS is a closed scientific facility and is not open to the public, so please respect their work and do not wonder onto their campus.

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