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Aztec Butte
Aztec Butte, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.jpg
Southeast aspect, seen from Mesa Arch Trail
Highest point
Elevation 6,312 ft (1,924 m)
Prominence 232 ft (71 m)
Isolation 1.54 mi (2.48 km)
Parent peak Shaft Benchmark (6,329 ft)
Geography
Aztec Butte is located in Utah
Aztec Butte
Aztec Butte
Location in Utah
Aztec Butte is located in the United States
Aztec Butte
Aztec Butte
Location in the United States
Location Canyonlands National Park
San Juan County, Utah, U.S.
Parent range Colorado Plateau
Topo map USGS Musselman Arch
Geology
Age of rock Jurassic
Type of rock Navajo Sandstone
Climbing
Easiest route class 3 scrambling

Aztec Butte is a 6,312-foot (1,924-meter) elevation sandstone summit located in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park, in San Juan County, Utah. Aztec Butte is composed of white cross-bedded Navajo Sandstone, which is the remains of wind-borne sand dunes deposited approximately 170 million years ago during the Jurassic Period. It resembles the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico, which was built by the Aztecs. Ancestral Puebloans traveled to the Island in the Sky area to hunt and gather seeds, then stored their food in stone granaries near the top of Aztec Butte. These well-preserved granaries date to AD 1200–1300. A half-mile hiking trail through flat grassland, followed by a quarter-mile scramble with 200-feet gain, leads to the top of the butte and the granaries. The trailhead is located alongside the road to Upheaval Dome. In addition to Upheaval Dome, other nearby attractions include Mesa Arch which is situated less than 1 mi (1.6 km) to the southeast, Muffin Butte to the south, Green River Overlook to the southwest, and Trail Canyon to the north. Precipitation runoff from Aztec Butte drains to the Green River.

Gallery

Climate

Spring and fall are the most favorable seasons to visit Aztec Butte. According to the Köppen climate classification system, it is located in a Cold semi-arid climate zone, which is defined by the coldest month having an average mean temperature below −0 °C (32 °F) and at least 50% of the total annual precipitation being received during the spring and summer. This desert climate receives less than 10 inches (250 millimeters) of annual rainfall, and snowfall is generally light during the winter.

Climate data for Island in the Sky Visitor Center, elevation 5,666 ft (1,727 m), 1981-2010 normals, extremes 1981-2019
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 58.6
(14.78)
69.0
(20.56)
79.8
(26.56)
86.1
(30.06)
98.5
(36.94)
103.9
(39.94)
106.4
(41.33)
101.1
(38.39)
97.9
(36.61)
86.9
(30.5)
71.0
(21.67)
59.2
(15.11)
106.4
(41.33)
Average high °F (°C) 38.1
(3.39)
44.1
(6.72)
54.9
(12.72)
63.5
(17.5)
74.2
(23.44)
85.4
(29.67)
91.7
(33.17)
88.7
(31.5)
79.5
(26.39)
65.8
(18.78)
49.7
(9.83)
38.1
(3.39)
64.6
(18.11)
Average low °F (°C) 20.8
(-6.22)
25.8
(-3.44)
33.3
(0.72)
40.0
(4.44)
49.5
(9.72)
59.8
(15.44)
66.0
(18.89)
63.9
(17.72)
54.9
(12.72)
42.5
(5.83)
31.1
(-0.5)
21.3
(-5.94)
42.5
(5.83)
Record low °F (°C) -8.0
(-22.22)
-12.4
(-24.67)
10.4
(-12)
16.3
(-8.72)
26.0
(-3.33)
28.7
(-1.83)
46.0
(7.78)
50.2
(10.11)
27.6
(-2.44)
9.2
(-12.67)
6.2
(-14.33)
-9.4
(-23)
-12.4
(-24.67)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.53
(13.5)
0.50
(12.7)
0.76
(19.3)
0.72
(18.3)
0.70
(17.8)
0.45
(11.4)
0.93
(23.6)
1.04
(26.4)
1.06
(26.9)
1.30
(33)
0.70
(17.8)
0.58
(14.7)
9.27
(235.5)
Source: PRISM
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