The stunning Cockscomb is part of the East Kaibab Monocline which runs 149 miles from near Henrieville, Utah, through the Grand Canyon, to near Flagstaff, Arizona. North of the Grand Canyon, the monocline forms the eastern Kaibab Plateau margin and for part of this distance is a double or triple flexure. In Utah, the monocline is a single great fold in Jurassic and Cretaceous strata. Cottonwood Canyon and House Rock Valley Roads run alongside the Cockscomb.
The East Kaibab Monocline and nearby Waterpocket Fold, Comb Ridge, Raplee Ridge, San Rafael Swell, and Utah mountain ranges (Wasatch, Henry, Abajo, La Sal, etc.), are thought to have formed during earth's traumatic era when the Rocky Mountains were formed. The Utah mountain ranges are part of the greater Rocky Mountains with the Wasatch Range as its western edge. This geology is generally believed to have been formed by tectonic plate movement (Tindall asserts this is how the East Kaibab Monocline was formed, as does a Wikipedia article on the Laramide orogeny, both articles are on the menu above). This graphic of the Cockscomb comes from the paper by S E Tindall. Like A Narrow Point of View below, Tindall's paper may not open in the Chrome browser.
Quoting Eric Smith in A Narrow Point of View:
I love canyons. For me there is great pleasure in being surrounded by towering walls of stone.
I revel in attempting to read the ciphers written into naked rock that I'm sure are just beyond my comprehension.
Desert varnish streaks and scalloped fracture lines hint at ponderous secrets hidden from human eyes, and I yearn to understand how layers revealed by the passage of millions of years relates to my own short time on the planet.
I have yet to unlock any of these mysteries, but I keep trying. (this site may not open in older versions of Chrome)
The Photo Gallery contains photos of the Cockscomb monocline along Cottonwood Canyon Road, and of the Cockscomb Narrows.
View Photos is an auto-show of the photos.
Tindall's Paper is a pdf document titled
The Cockscomb Segment of the East Kaibab Monocline: Taking the Structural Plunge on the geology of Cockscomb published by the Utah Geological Association.
Laramide orogeny discusses tectonic plate subduction that formed these monoclines and the Rocky Mountains.
Four Monoclines is a Google Earth satellite view of four area monoclines.