Hidden away in a remote corner of southern Uah, Islomania Dome is one of the most unique places in the world. It goes by several other names as well, including Esca-Volcano and the Cosmic Navel. But what is it?
Islomania Dome is a very unlikely work of art produced by wind and water. Started off by a long gone stream that ate itself into a hole, wind took over from there and created massive 200 foot wide bowl of orange sand with a 30 foot high mini butte of rock standing over one side. The lip is sometimes 80 feet above the lowest park but the sand is constantly being blown around in bowl.
There is no official way to get there but the most popular routes, which are the shortest, are about 7-9 miles round trip and cross miles of open sandy desert with no shade. The hike should not be done in the heat of the summer.
The first few miles on the eastern route are fairly monotonous truding over sand dunes and through gulleys while looking at the same view for several hours. I get tired of that so i tried to stick to the rocks, which kept pulling me higher.
There’s a way to climb down into the bottom of the bowl but the sand blows around in the bottom and when i was there it looked like it had blown away enough from the last hand carved step that i might not be able to get out. Not being able to get out would be really bad in such a remote place. I’d heard conflicting reports about whether or not you needed a rope to get down but it’s obvious when you get there that a rope is a very good idea. So, unable to guarantee my safety in the bottom i decided to explore the rim.
A close up of the swirling gold and rust colors.
I just thought it was really cool. I’ve never seen a sand dune sitting by itself on a wide open clean rock surface like this.