Dean M. Chriss
Mountains and Canyons, Canyonlands National Park and Henry Mountains, Utah

Mountains and Canyons, Utah

(Click image to enlarge)

This photograph is a new capture and new interpretation of a scene I first photographed about 30 years earlier. It captures an extremely backlit view of Utah's Henry Mountains as seen from Canyonlands National Park. The Henry Mountains are 54 miles from this vantage point and reach an elevation of 11,522 feet (3,512 m), which is 7600 feet (2316 m) higher than the depths of the foreground canyons. Canyonlands National Park was established in 1964 to protect the canyons of the Green and Colorado rivers, and includes some of the most spectacular scenery in the United States. The Henry Mountains were named by John Wesley Powell in honor of Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. This was the last mountain range to be added to the map of the 48 contiguous states. Before their official naming by Powell, the Henry Mountains were often referred to as the "Unknown Mountains." Even today these mountains are considered extremely remote. The Henry Mountains are the home of a free-roaming herd of over 200 American bison that are descendants of 18 animals transplanted from Yellowstone National Park in 1941.