Upper Mesa Falls, Idaho

September 16, 2007

On one of the days we were camped near West Yellowstone, Montana, we decided to take a drive into Idaho.  The high point of the drive was the Mesa Falls Recreation Area.

From Wikipedia:

Upper Mesa Falls is a waterfall on the Henrys Fork in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Upstream from Lower Mesa Falls, it is roughly 16 miles away from Ashton, Idaho.

Upper Mesa Falls is roughly 114 feet high and 200 feet wide.[2]

Formation

Mesa Falls Tuff, which is the rock over which Upper Mesa Falls cascades, was formed 1.3 million years ago. A cycle of rhyolitic volcanism from the Henrys Fork caldera deposited a thick layer of rock and ash across the area.[3] This layer compressed and hardened over time.

Between 200,000 and 600,000 years ago, the river eroded a wide canyon which was subsequently partly filled with basalt lava flows. The Henrys Fork of the Snake River then carved the channel through the basalt; which is the inner canyon seen today.

References and Resources:

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