Castle Valley is a spectacular gash in the earth connecting southeastern Utah’s La Sal Mountains with the canyon of the Colorado River. The unbroken rampart of Porcupine Rim rises 1,700 feet from the valley floor to an undulating western skyline ten miles long. Beyond lies the Negro Bill Wilderness Study Area. Across the chasm of the river to the north, one glimpses the fantastic landscape of Arches National Park and the proposed wilderness of Dome Plateau. The arresting forms of Parriott Mesa, the Priest and Nuns and Castle Rock tower to the east. In this direction, too, the valley is enclosed by the proposed wilderness of Mary Jane Canyon. Finally, on the south, rise the snowy peaks of the La Sals, home to bears, bighorns, elk, lions and mule deer. Snowmelt from the mountains feeds streams and springs that support an agricultural oasis at the lower end of Castle Valley. The upper end is critical winter range for deer and elk — a steeply dissected pinon and juniper forest punctuated by the upthrust bulk of Round Mountain.
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