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Wingate Sandstone
Stratigraphic range: Rhaetian-Hettangian
Wingate Sandstone cliffs in the San Rafael Swell, Utah
Type Geological formation
Unit of Glen Canyon Group
Underlies Kayenta Formation
Overlies Chinle Formation
Primary Eolian sandstone
Coordinates 39°06′N 109°06′W / 39.1°N 109.1°W / 39.1; -109.1
Approximate paleocoordinates 17°42′N 48°18′W / 17.7°N 48.3°W / 17.7; -48.3
Region northern Arizona, northwest Colorado, Nevada, Utah
Country  United States
Extent Colorado Plateau
Type section
Named for Fort Wingate
Named by C.E. Dutton

The Wingate Sandstone is a geologic formation in the Glen Canyon Group of the Colorado Plateau province of the United States which crops out in northern Arizona, northwest Colorado, Nevada, and Utah.


Wingate Sandstone is particularly prominent in southeastern Utah, where it forms attractions in a number of national parks and monuments. These include Capitol Reef National Park, the San Rafael Swell, and Canyonlands National Park.

Wingate Sandstone frequently appears just below the Kayenta Formation and Navajo Sandstone, two other formations of the Glen Canyon group. Together, these three formations can result in immense vertical cliffs of 2000 feet (609 meters) or more. Wingate layers are typically pale orange to red in color, the remnants of wind-born sand dunes deposited approximately 200 million years ago in the Late Triassic.

Fossil content

Long dated to the Early Jurassic only, fossils (including a phytosaur skull) and other evidence indicate that part of the Wingate Sandstone is as old as Late Triassic in age. The upper part of the formation, which laterally interfingers with the Moenave Formation to the west, is Early Jurassic in age.


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