A little history: The origins of this area began with a fresh water lake that covered the Panaca Valley in Nevada and another valley east of Pioche 53 million years ago that deposited soft mud.
Erosion began during the Pleistocene age that created big gullies through the soft mud and gravel. (the area is now called Meadow Valley Wash)
Then during the Ice Age, 25,000 years ago the Carpenter River removed approximately 1,000 feet of mud and gravel. The harder materials remain but erosion continues to change the landscape.