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The mouth of the Grand Canyon and edge of the Colorado Plateau in the Upper Lake Mead area, Arizona

Ivo Lucchitta
Ivo Lucchitta
U.S. Geological Survey
2255 North Gemini Drive, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
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January 01, 1987


The Pierce Ferry area in northern Arizona is easily reached via the paved all-weather Dolan Springs–Meadview road (Fig. 1). The road is poorly maintained, however, and stretches of the pavement have disappeared entirely. The area is also subject to flash floods during the summer thunderstorm season. Meadview, 12 mi (19 km) south of Pierce Ferry, offers modest facilities that include a gas station, country store, motel, and restaurant. A National Park Service ranger stationis nearby.

Even though the upper Lake Mead area as a whole offers interesting geology and breathtaking views, the best place to visit is the northern end of Grapevine Mesa, which affords a truly remarkable overview of much geologic interest and great beauty. This viewpoint, 2.5 mi (4 km) southwest of Pierce Ferry and about 1,700 ft (520 m) higher, is reached by traveling north from Meadview on the paved road to Sand Cove. About 5mi (8 km) north of Meadview, the paved road abruptly drops off the mesa through a narrow slot cut into the resistant limestone that caps the mesa. Just before the slot are a gate and a dirt road to the right (east). This well-graded dirt road is easily passable in dry weather, but not in wet, and leads to the viewpoint at the north end of Grapevine Mesa. Near the viewpoint, on National Park Service land, is a gravel landing strip used routinely by light aircraft of the general public.

The paved road near Meadview affords views of the imposing Grand

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Figures & Tables


DNAG, Centennial Field Guides

Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America

Stanley S. Beus
Stanley S. Beus
Department of Geology Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
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Geological Society of America
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 1987




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