On the Road to Price, Utah No. 2 - North Horn Formation

May nn, 2010

North Horn Formation Roadcut Near Price, Utah

Photographer: Kurt Allen Fisher

Summary Author: Kurt Allen Fisher

On Utah's Highway 6 driving towards Price City at the county line between Wasatch and Carbon counties, a roadcut exposes the North Horn Formation. The North Horn Formation consists of Paleocene epoch siltstones laid down between 58 to 66 million years ago as the ancient Sevier mountains rose in western Utah and forced an invading sea to retreat to the east. The deposition of this formation straddled the late Cretacous and early Cenozoic eras and contains some the last fossils of dinosaurs. In the 1930s, the North Horn formation yielded one of the two known North American fossil specimens of Torosaurus - Torosaurus utahensis. Torosaurus is a member of the Ceratopsidae family and appears similar to its well-known cousin - Triceratops. The North Horn Formation also yielded fossilized teeth of Tyrannosaurus rex. In 2009, the Utah Museum of Natural History and the University of Utah Geology and Geophysics Department conducted further excavations in the North Horn Formation. The College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum about 20 miles further south on Highway 6 in Price contains fossils from lower formations laid down during the Jurassic era.