Episode 25: Utah’s Forgotten National Park is Rich in History and the Unexplained

In the heart of southeast Utah, water and gravity have sculpted one forgotten national park into a rugged landscape. Rich in human history and natural beauty, this vast and untamed terrain is also an epicenter of legend and lore. Have you ever heard of Canyonlands National Park?



For this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Bill Bentenson, Butch Cassidy’s great nephew and author of the book Butch Cassidy, My Uncle; David Weatherly, author, explorer, and investigator of strange phenomenon; and Clyde Denis, a professor at the University of New Hampshire who has explored, researched, and written extensively on the history and terrain of Canyonlands.


Canyonlands; National Park Service; Retrieved October 2018.

Canyonlands National Park; Canyonlands Natural History Association; Retrieved October 2018.

Closing the road to Chesler Park: Why access to Canyonlands National Park remains limited; Denis, C.L.; Utah Historical Quarterly. 84: 328-346; 2016.

Canyonlands: The Story Behind the Scenery; Johnson, David; KC Publications; June 1, 1997.

Park History: Canyonlands National Park; National Parks Traveler; Retrieved October 2018.

Butch Cassidy, My Uncle; Bentenson, Bill; High Plains Press; May 1, 2012.

Lost Landscapes: Utah’s Ghosts, Mysterious Creatures, and Aliens; Dunning, Linda; Cedar Fort; June 1, 2007.

Hypothesis: The pinnacles of the Chesler Park/graben region of Canyonlands National Park result from paleostream induration and inverted topographical relief; Denis, C.L.; In MacLean;  J.S., Biek, R.F., and Huntoon, J.E editors; Geology of Utah’s Far South: Utah Geological Association Publication 43, p. 25-38; 2014.

The origins of Chesler Park: determining late 19th century snowfall records and occupations of inscription writers in Canyonlands N.P.; Denis, C.L.; Canyon Legacy 69, 2-9; 2010.