In the year 1874 my kind friend Prof. J.W. Powell proposed to me that I should undertake, under his direction, the study of a large volcanic tract in the Territory of Utah, provided the consent of proper authority could be entertained. Distrusting my own fitness for the work, I felt that it would be better for him if his proposals were thankfully declined. In 1875, however, he renewed the proposition in such a friendly and complimentary manner that a refusal seemed ungracious. He therefore laid the matter before the Secretary of War, the General of the Army, and the Chief of Ordnance, all of whom gave their cordial approbation; and by order of the Ward Department I was detailed for duty in connection with the survey of the Rocky Mountain Region in charge of Professor Powell. The field which he assigned me to study was the District of the High Plateaus, and the investigations were made during the summers of 1875, 1876, and 1877. The preparation of a report or monograph upon the district has several times between interrupted by the pressure of other official duties to which the writer has been assigned during the last three years.