Elk Mountain (Routt County, Colorado)

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Elk Mountain
The Sleeping Giant

Elk Mountain (Routt County, Colorado).JPG

The mountain as seen from Routt County Road 129.
Highest point
Elevation 2,660 m (8,730 ft) [1]
Prominence 507 m (1,663 ft) [2]
Isolation 20.55 km (12.77 mi) [2]
Coordinates 40°34′09″N106°58′06″W / 40.56917°N 106.96833°W / 40.56917; -106.96833 Coordinates: 40°34′09″N106°58′06″W / 40.56917°N 106.96833°W / 40.56917; -106.96833
USA Colorado location map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Elk Mountain
Parent range Elkhead Mountains
Topo map Mad Creek

Elk Mountain is a summit in Routt County, Colorado. The mountain lies to the northwest of Steamboat Springs and is easily seen from the city, especially from along Lincoln Avenue (U.S. Route 40), Steamboat's main street. The mountain is also easily seen from Mount Werner, the home of the Steamboat Ski Resort.

Routt County, Colorado County in the United States

Routt County is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,509. The county seat is Steamboat Springs.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado City in Colorado, United States

Steamboat Springs, often shortened to Steamboat, is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Routt County, Colorado, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 12,088.

U.S. Route 40 in Colorado highway in Colorado

U.S. Route 40 (US 40) is a part of the U.S. Highway System that travels from Silver Summit, Utah, to Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the U.S. state of Colorado, US 40 is a major east–west route. It crosses the Rocky Mountains, passing over the Continental Divide at Berthoud Pass before descending to the front range. It then traverses through the Denver Metro Area, then exits by following Interstate 70 (I-70) and US 287. It is concurrent with US 287 for about 145 miles to Kit Carson. US 40 exits into Kansas east of Arapahoe in Cheyenne. At a length of almost 500 miles, US 40 is the longest numbered route in the state.

The Elk River flows near the mountain just before its confluence with the Yampa River in the Yampa Valley.

Elk River (Colorado) stream in Colorado

Elk River is a 34.2-mile-long (55.0 km) stream in Colorado. It flows from a confluence of the North Fork Elk River and Middle Fork Elk River in Routt National Forest north of Steamboat Springs to a confluence with the Yampa River.

Yampa River river in northwestern Colorado, United States

The Yampa River flows 250 miles (400 km) through northwestern Colorado in the United States. Rising in the Rocky Mountains, it is a tributary of the Green River and a major part of the Colorado River system. The Yampa is one of the few free-flowing rivers in the western United States, with only a few small dams and diversions.

Legends and names

Locals refer to the mountain as "The Sleeping Giant," due to its resemblance to the profile of a prone person at sleep when viewed from Mount Werner or Steamboat Springs, and have created legends to explain this appearance. [3] [4] [5]

There are at least six other summits also named Elk Mountain in Colorado. This Elk Mountain in Routt County is not part of the Elk Mountains in West Central Colorado. Instead, it is one of the easternmost peaks in the Elkhead Mountains.

Elk Mountains (Colorado) mountain range

The Elk Mountains are a high, rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains of west-central Colorado in the United States. The mountains sit on the western side of the Continental Divide, largely in southern Pitkin and northern Gunnison counties, in the area southwest of Aspen, south of the Roaring Fork River valley, and east of the Crystal River. The range sits west of the Sawatch Range and northeast of the West Elk Mountains. Much of the range is located within the White River National Forest and the Gunnison National Forest, as well as the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness and Raggeds Wilderness. The Elk Mountains rise nearly 9,000 ft. above the Roaring Fork Valley to the north.

The Elkhead Mountains are a mountain range in Colorado. The mountain range is considered to be low altitude within Colorado as the mountains are under 11,000 feet (3,400 m). Located within Routt and Moffat counties, the mountain range is far from metropolitan areas and has few lakes and streams, so it attracts few visitors. The mountain range is a volcanic range and all of the peaks were formed by volcanic action. The mountain range extends approximately 16 miles (26 km) east to west and 10 miles (16 km) north to south, and its center is located at 40.77404°N 107.32132°W, approximately 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Craig and north of Hayden, Colorado 13 miles (21 km) south of the Wyoming border. Almost all of the peaks within the Elkhead Mountains are a part of Routt National Forest. Significant peaks are: Bears Ears, Sugar Loaf, Saddle Mountain, Black Mountain, Pilot Knob, and Meaden Peak.

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Moffat County, Colorado County in the United States

Moffat County is the northwesternmost of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,795. The county seat is Craig.

Sleeping Giant may refer to:

Rabbit Ears Pass

Rabbit Ears Pass is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado in the United States. The summit has the shape of rabbit ears, which displays two large columns of basalt rock formations from the second volcanic episode. Rabbit Ears Peak is underlain by a pink tuff and the basalt immediately to the west is underlain by red, vesicular ash. Volcanic breccia occurs only at the Peak, which is a large stratified breccia pile. The three basal layers are cut by a basalt dike immediately beneath the peak. From petrographic evidence there appears to have been one period of lava flows and this surface can be seen at Rabbit Ears Peak.

Park Range (Colorado)

The Park Range, elevation approximately 12,000 feet (3,700 m), is a mountain range in the Rocky Mountains of northwestern Colorado in the United States. The range forms a relatively isolated part of the Continental Divide, extending north-to-south for approximately 40 miles (64 km) along the boundary between Jackson (east) and Routt counties. It separates North Park in the upper basin of the North Platte River on the east from the Elk River basin in the watershed of the Yampa River the west. It rises steeply out of the Yampa River basin, forming a climatic barrier that receives much snowfall in winter. The northern end of the range lies in Wyoming and is known as the Sierra Madre Range.

White River National Forest

White River National Forest is a National Forest in northwest Colorado. It is named after the White River that passes through its northern section. It is the most visited National Forest in the United States, primarily from users of the twelve ski areas within its boundaries.

Yampa Valley Airport

Yampa Valley Regional Airport is in Routt County, Colorado, two miles southeast of Hayden and about 25 miles (40 km) west of Steamboat Springs. Also known as Yampa Valley Regional Airport, it has the only scheduled passenger flights to northwest Colorado. It is also used by larger business jets that cannot use the smaller Steamboat Springs Airport.

Mount Werner mountain in United States of America

Mount Werner is a mountain summit in the Park Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 10,570-foot (3,222 m) peak is located in Routt National Forest, 4.6 miles (7.4 km) east-southeast of the City of Steamboat Springs in Routt County, Colorado, United States. The mountain was renamed in 1964 in honor of skier Buddy Werner.

Medicine Bow – Routt National Forest U.S. Forest Service managed area

Medicine Bow – Routt National Forest is the official title to a U.S. Forest Service managed area extending over 2,222,313 acres (8,993.38 km2) in the states of Wyoming and Colorado, United States. What were once three separate areas, Medicine Bow National Forest, Routt National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grassland were administratively combined in 1995 due to similarity of the resources, proximity to each other and for administrative purposes.

Stagecoach, Colorado

Stagecoach was a short-lived ski resort in Colorado in the early 1970s, 20 miles (32km) south of Steamboat Springs in Routt County.

<i>Steamboat Pilot & Today</i> newspaper in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

The Steamboat Pilot & Today is an American newspaper serving Routt County, Colorado and owned by Swift Communications. The Steamboat Pilot & Today is a free tabloid published daily.

Stagecoach State Park

Stagecoach State Park is a Colorado State Park located in Routt County 17 miles (27 km) south of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The 1,641-acre (6.64 km2) park established in 1965 includes a 771-acre (3.12 km2) reservoir on the Yampa River formed by Stagecoach Dam. Facilities include a marina, boat ramps, campsites, picnic sites and 8 miles (13 km) of trails. Park uplands are montane shrub communities, with riparian areas and wetlands around the reservoir and along the river. Commonly sighted wildlife includes elk, mule deer, coyote, red fox and badger.

Flat Tops (Colorado)

Flat Tops is a mountain range located in Colorado within the Routt and White River National Forests. The area is home to 110 Ponds and Lakes.

Mount Zirkel mountain in United States of America

Mount Zirkel is the highest summit of the Park Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent 12,185-foot (3,714 m) peak is located in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness of Routt National Forest, 25.9 miles (41.7 km) north-northeast of the City of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, United States, on the Continental Divide between Jackson and Routt counties. Mount Zirkel was named in honor of German geologist Ferdinand Zirkel.

James Harvey Crawford American town founder (1845-1930)

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Elkhead State Park

Elkhead State Park is a Colorado state park located in Moffat and Routt counties in northwest Colorado, near Craig. The park surrounds and includes Elkhead Reservoir. It is sometimes referred to as Elkhead Reservoir State Park.


  1. "Elk Mountain". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey.
  2. 1 2 "Elk Mountain, Colorado". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  3. Visit Steamboat. The Legend of the Sleeping Giant. Viewed September 9, 2016.
  4. Steamboat Blog, Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce. The Legend of the Sleeping Giant. Viewed October 2, 2017.
  5. summitpost.org The Sleeping Giant (Elk Mountain). Viewed October 2, 2017.