Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Keystone Thrust Fault

The most significant geologic canyon feature is the Keystone Thrust Fault. Starting about 65 million years ago, oceanic sedimentary limestone rock was pushed as high as 40 miles on top of Jurassic Aztec sandstone. This movement fractured the earth, creating a prominent thrust fault. Today, the fault exhibits a beautiful contrasting palette of dark gray limestone against red sandstone.