The spectacular sandstone battlements of the Kennedy Range are in fact a huge mesa, an elevated sandstone plateau pushed up from an ancient sea bed.
The rocks that comprise the Range were originally deposited beneath the ocean, compressed to form sandstone, then faulted, uplifted and titled towards the west.
Over the past 150 million years this uplifted plateau eroded into an isolated range that is today known as the Kennedy Ranges. It extends 75 kilometres in a northerly direction from near Gascoyne Junction. The plateau varies in width between 12 and 25 kilometres.
The sedimentary rock of the eastern escarpment contains fossilised marine creatures. Red sand dunes support shrubland over spinifex grassland on the top of the Range.. The western side of the Range is lower, less steep and more extensively dissected than the east. Springs trickle from the Range creating oases along the margin.
The first European to explore the area was Francis Thomas Gregory whose expedition reached the Range in 1858. Gregory named the range after the Governor of Western Australia at the time, Arthur Edward Kennedy.