Mountains & Geology

The Great Dikes

The Great Dikes of Spanish Peaks Country formed during the same period of volcanic activity as the Spanish Peaks, Mt. Mestas, and Silver Mountain. These vertical granite formations were formed by molten rock several thousand feet underground, below and among many layers of sedimentary rock. Over time, the ground rose and the softer rock eroded [...]

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Blanca Peak

At 14,351 feet, Blanca Peak is Colorado’s fourth highest peak and the highest summit of the Sierra Blanca Massif, the Sangre de Cristo Range, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Blanca Peak is located at the southern end of the Sangre de Cristo Range. It lies approximately 20 miles northeast of the town of Alamosa [...]

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California Peak

California Peak, the 84th highest peak in Colorado, sits along the spine of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains directly north of  Mt. Blanca. The 13,855-foot thirteener is more specifically located on the Sierra Blanca Massif, 12.1 miles north of the Town of Blanca, on the drainage divide separating the Rio Grande National Forest and Alamosa [...]

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Huerfano Butte

Ten miles north of Walsenburg, just off Highway 25, is Huerfano Butte, a conical-shaped circular plug that draws hundreds of visitors every year. It rises from the ground, contrasting the surrounding gently rolling hills of sagebrush and sparse grass, and gives the impression of being out of place. The butte stands 300-foot high like a [...]

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The Spanish Peaks

The Spanish Peaks are geologically distinct from the faulted and uplifted mountains of the Sangre de Cristo range to the west. To the geologist, the Spanish Peaks are prime examples of stocks—large masses of igneous rock layered by sedimentary rock and exposed by erosion. Stocks 27 million years ago, pressures and stresses built up by [...]

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The Sangre de Cristo Mountains

The Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range is one of the longest ranges on Earth. It stretches from Poncha Pass in Central Colorado to Glorieta Pass southeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Sangres consist of ten 14,000-foot peaks and more than two dozen 13,000-foot peaks. Hundreds of miles of excellent alpine hiking trails weave throughout [...]

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