Biological Soil Crust

The Utah desert is home to beautiful highline sites, endangered wildlife, precious black soil and more.

One of the coolest features in the Fruit Bowl area is the cryptobiotic soil (aka Biological Soil Crust). This black crust that forms on the sand holds in moisture and fixes nitrogen into the soil which helps the desert plants grow.

Crypto grows incredibly slowly and is crucial to the ecosystem

Everything in the desert grow slowly. And crypto is exceptionally slow growing and critical for the desert ecosystem.

Please do your best to avoid stepping, parking, and camping on crypto soil. Hop from rock to rock (it’s fun!) and stay on established paths to help take care of the desert we love. Read more below.

NPS – Soils

Wikipedia – Biological Soil Crust

desert ethics - crypto

Watch your step

Please stay on trails, roads, and park in approved parking areas.

Parking off road could result in a ticket from our friends at the BLM but more importantly, it leaves a lasting impact on the ecosystem. Walking on marked trails and keeping to solid rock and sandy wash (no crypto or plant life, just sand) near the Fruit Bowl will help us protect the crypto and desert plant life.