This panorama shows a very nice very of the expanse of the Echo Cliffs that parallel the Colorado River for seventeen miles before they diverge when the cliff band bends to the south east towards Tuba City, AZ. Prominent in the photo are the jagged spires that collectively comprise the Echo Peaks. The Echo Cliffs are part of the vast lands of the Navajo Nation.
Look down at the bank on river-left and you can see a riparian area on the inside of the river bend. Most likely, soil and sand were deposited here as the water slowed on the inside of the curve. Vegetation takes advantage of any foot hold it can get in the undisturbed soil and soon a river side oasis is formed.
Rotate the panorama about 180 degrees and look at the ground behind you. In contrast to the river oasis there is a significant difference in vegetation. Prominent here are prickly pear cactus, brittle brush, and a few short grasses. The hot sun bakes the ground and without water only the hardiest plants can grow only a few yards from the river.