Tucked away on the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway not far from Nephi, Utah, is the Devil's Kitchen Geologic Interest Site. The red rock seems incongruous with the green forest, but as you drive the byway, you notice that a lot of the mountainsides are made of the same materials. One of the wonderful things about Utah is the large areas of exposed geology. Note that the Devil's Kitchen faces west, and is backlit by the morning sun. We returned later in the afternoon to get these photos.
Conglomerate Rock Formations, Devil's Kitchen, Utah
This overlook is nicknamed the "mini-Bryce Canyon", and you can see why. However, it only takes a few minutes to realize instead of weathered sandstone, these formations are conglomerate rock. You can see the mixture of other stones in the formation, as if someone mixed gravel in red mud and then sculpted with it.
The Utah Geological Survey site has interesting details about the geology and formation of Devil's Kitchen. It also indicates there are 34 places in the United States with the moniker Devil's Kitchen, and three of them are in Utah! (I don't know why this name is so popular.) At the overlook, read the signs to identify shapes such as the Saddlehorn.
If you are traveling north on the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway, you will see a sign indicating a "Point of Geologic Interest" about 500 feet before the parking lot for Devil's Kitchen. From the parking lot, follow the paved trail leading to the overlook. It is about 200 yards through shady forest, and is wheelchair accessible. This point is at about 9000 feet in elevation, so you may notice the altitude.
Picnic Area at Devil's Kitchen
There are three picnic tables tucked back in the trees, and a vault toilet at the trailhead. There are no other facilities, and like many other places along this route, there is a "if you pack it in, please pack it out" policy, so if you picnic, please take any garbage out with you!
If you face west from Devil's Kitchen, you get a great view of Mt. Nebo
We enjoyed driving the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway, and stopping for sites and hiking along the way. At Devil's Kitchen, my husband even took time to paint. Look here if you'd like to see more information about his painting experience that day!
Painting at Devil's Kitchen