For some, New Mexico may be the one Four Corner state least likely to be associated with the Colorado Plateau. This is not for a lack of colorful sedimentary rocks so much as its lack of famous national parks that might highlight its subtle charms. There is no Grand Canyon or Petrified Forest, no Zion, Bryce, or Canyonlands, and no Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde or Dinosaur National Monument. Only the isolated and southern Carlsbad Caverns come to mind when thinking about parks in New Mexico. But recently, some friends and I explored the officially designated Wild and Scenic Chama River in northern New Mexico found northwest of Santa Fe. It is a hidden geologic gem!
case-hardening of the sandstone.
Christ of the Desert, is located at the southern end of the river canyon and is connected to the outside world by a 15 mile dirt road. Check out the link I have provided to find out more.
aquitard or aquiclude. The groundwater (before any canyon cutting) is "ponded" on top of the shale, thus weakening the cement in the overlying sandstone, such that when it is finally exposed, it weathers away faster.