Guide to Utah’s Geographical Jargon

I grew up a flatlander in New Jersey, where describing a geographical feature would be limited to the following: street, hill, woods, or the beach. Since then, I’ve been exposed to what people would consider real, mountainous terrain in New England. Up there, we’d throw around terms like: Mountain, Summit, Ridge, Lake, and Elevation. All of which are pretty self explanatory and not too hard to follow along with in a conversation. But here in Utah, that list of geographical jargon has grown by 100x. And I’ll be honest most of the time I have no idea how to describe …

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Angels Landing Trail | Zion National Park

Thousand foot drops offs on either side of the 2 foot wide, sandstone trail. For a half-mile, you have to try your hardest not to look down as you hike along the hog’s back ridgeline. The only thing that keeps you from tumbling over the edge are the intermittent chains that are drilled into the rock. But if you make it to the end, you will be shown a view of the Zion Valley below that you’ll never forget.

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