At 9,979 feet, Naomi Peak is an amphitheater for a geologic opera. Basin and range guard the west. The Uinta Mountains loom in the southeast. Wyoming’s high plateau country is northeast. And on a clear day, the rugged Tetons can be seen. Named by a homesick government surveyor in the 1870s who wanted to commemorate his wife, the view from the top offers a peek into history. Logan Canyon is an ancient aquarium that has turned to stone.
One mile deep in places, the gorge is limestone—a storehouse for marine creatures 500 to 200 million years old. Frozen in rock are the skeletons of horned corals, reef corals, trilobites, brachiopods, clams, crinoids, and fish scales. The deeper gray the limestone, the more fossils. Glaciers that once covered Naomi Peak in the Bear River Range left marks, too. While the ice was melting 14,000 years ago, five canyons were eroded into the peak’s sides. In the wake is a jumble of cliffs, basins, canyons, small hills and lakes. Tony Grove Lake is one remnant. Though the glaciers are long gone, Logan Canyon and the Cache Valley it drains into remain marshy and wet. This water was a mecca for plants, animals, birds, fish and, eventually, humans, 11,000 years ago.
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