Last weekend I had the chance to visit my favorite Permian formation, the Cedar Mesa sandstone. This formation, part of the Cutler group can be found in southern Canyonlands National Park (both the Needles and Maze) and in the type area on "Cedar Mesa" part of the Monument uplift.
This thick sandstone layer shows not only classic sand dune cross bedding but also some fantastic swirleys where water interacted with the sand. The image below was originally taken because of the hundreds of hand print pictographs (painted on rock art). The image above shows the whole wall. It was only later when I noticed the great swirley of Permian water interacting with a Permian beach.
So, this was a beach environment made with sand eroded from a mountain range that does not exist any more... geology is so cool!