Yesterday, a sunny and rainy Sunday, I drove my little fam up Payson Canyon. The drive up the canyon was beautiful. As we wound up the trees got greener and taller, there were wildflowers dotting the meadows and the air was crisp and clean. A welcome respite from the heat of the valley. My youngest said we were driving on the top of the world! We saw stunning vistas and skinny hairpin turns that had the truck crawling at 10mph! There were only a handful of other people enjoying the wide open spaces in the tops of the mountains. Side note- All the other drivers were just as careful and courteous as this mama would wish.
Our intended destination was Payson Lakes but I missed the turn off and so we just kept going sure that there was more to see. We saw the marker for Devil’s Kitchen. I was curious, I mean, since when is Satan interested in the culinary arts..? Does he have a commercial kitchen full of stainless, maybe an industrial chic kind of a set up? Ha, ha, of course not, my children assured me. (Add corny jokes here.. What is Be-el-ze bubblin in his pot?! I know, so bad. But come on, you chuckled a little didn’t you :-D) The hubbs just rolled his eyes and snorted. So, over I pulled, parked and we out we hopped.
A little accurate info on the site – According to The Utah Geological Society article by Mark Milligan,
“The Devil seems to have inspired many geographic place names. According to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, 34 geographic features bear the name Devils Kitchen, and three of them are found in Utah. The Devils Kitchen that is the subject of this “GeoSights” article is a relatively small (about 700 feet across) south-facing amphitheater exposing redrock hoodoos at the head of Red Creek in the Wasatch Range, about 14 road miles northeast of the town of Nephi in Juab County.
About 60 to 70 million years ago the rock at Devils Kitchen was gravel, sand, and mud deposited by streams flowing out of a now-long-gone mountain range. Continuing deposition resulted in deep burial which, coupled with deep time, compressed and cemented the sediment, transforming it into rock.
Beginning roughly 17 million years ago, movement of the Wasatch fault slowly uplifted the Wasatch Range, with Devils Kitchen along for the ride. The rise of the Wasatch Range empowered erosion to excavate and expose the rock we see today.” Check out the rest of the article and pictures at the link above.
Obviously, The picture I took does not do it justice! The Devil’s Kitchen, (not where I’d like to make dinner) was a hot geologic wonder, similar to Bryce Canyon in appearance. It captured our imaginations and made my science kiddo want to climb down and see what it was made of. Our missed turn, turned out to be pretty awesome 🙂
This is the first of many things we hope to explore this summer and fall, see you around the bend (maybe literally) Payson!