Nophaie's Valley (Surprise Valley)

Surprise Valley

The Vanishing American: Nophaie's valley resembled somewhat the shape of an octopus, except that the main body was narrow and crooked and the arms extended far and winding. This body was about a mile in length, and the larger arms were much longer. Innumerable ramifications on a lesser scale cut into the cliff walls everywhere. A thousand undiscovered and untrodden nooks and corners, caves and caverns, cliff-dwellings and canyons in miniature assuredly were lost in the intricacies of this valley. The great carved arm that cut deep into the bulk of Nothsis Ahn was a tremendous canyon in itself, lofty-walled at its head, opening wide at its juncture with the main body, margined by wondrous shining smooth walls waved like billows, red and yellow in hue, and crossing the valley proper to narrow again and lift its ramparts to the sky. Through this canyon ran the stream of water, and its course was one of ruggedness. (Chapter VII)

Down Into the Desert: From the summit we looked down into a wild and strange valley. Surprise Valley, named by myself! It was long, irregular, walled by waving slopes of pure-faced rock, pale yellow and gray and red. The strata waved in lacy fine lines, as if painted there. The floor of the valley was mostly level, with groves of cedars and pinions and patches of sage. We camped in beautiful Surprise Valley, and before sunset we climbed one of the round mounds of smooth red rock. From its dome we could see over the walls and had a superb view of Wild Horse Mesa.

Zane Grey looking out over Surprise Valley.