The Glass Mountains (also known as Gloss Mountains or Gloss Hills) are not actually mountains, but a series of mesas and buttes that are part of the Blaine Escarpment that extends from the Permian red beds of northwestern Oklahoma in Major County. 150 feet (46 m) to 200 feet (61 m) above the surface of the plains, and the highest elevation in the formation is about 1,600 feet (490 m) above sea level. The Glass Mountains stretch west along U.S. Route 412 from Orienta south of the Cimarron River. The name comes from the sparkling selenite crystals on the slopes and tops of the mesas.The Glass Mountains rise
During the Quaternary Period, the most recent one million years, Pleistocene terraces were laid down along the major rivers in this area of the United States, with Holocene alluvium that are at least 100 feet (30 m) thick and contain sand, gravel, silt, clay and volcanic ash.
The next layer was formed during the Permian Period, which occurred 230 to 270 million years ago. This consists of red sandstone and shale which is 1,000 feet (300 m) to 4,500 feet (1,400 m) thick, with gypsum on the outcroppings. The Permian "redbeds" are subdivided into the Cimarronian Series (2850 feet) at the base, overlain by the Custerian Series (400 feet, top eroded). Deposits of Flowerpot shale (180 feet (55 m) to 430 feet (130 m)) that consists mainly of red-brown illitic-chloritic shale, are found at this area.
The first American explorers referred to this feature as the "Shining Mountains," when they saw the formation in 1821.The name Glass Mountains has been attributed to an explorer named Thomas James. James visited this area during 1821, while on a trading expedition along the Cimarron River. In 1875, a transcription error by a mapmaker resulted in the name Gloss Mountains which is still a somewhat common name for the mountains.
The region became part of the Cherokee Outlet during the 19th Century. In 1891, botanist George Walter Stevens, started collecting specimens in the Glass Mountains domain for his dissertation. The University of Oklahoma Bebb Herbarium holds 4,500 samples that Stevens collected statewide. Two cacti he may have collected in the Glass Mountains area are Echinocereus caespitosus and Opuntia phaecantha.
The state of Oklahoma operates the 640 acres (260 ha) Glass (Gloss) Mountain State Park, 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Orienta on a mesa along Highway 412. The park allows climbers to hike to the top of the mesa via a path and stairs. Picnic tables and an informational kiosk have been installed, and a pond known as Rattlesnake Lake is nearby.
Major County is a county in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,527. Its county seat is Fairview. The county was created in 1907.
Cimarron County is the westernmost county in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,475, making it the least-populous county in Oklahoma. Its county seat is Boise City. Located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, Cimarron County contains the only community in the state (Kenton) that observes the Mountain Time Zone. Black Mesa, the highest point in the state, is in the northwest corner of the county. Throughout most of its history it has had both the smallest population and the lowest population density of any county in Oklahoma.
The Permian Basin is a large sedimentary basin in the southwestern part of the United States. The basin contains the Mid-Continent Oil Field province. This sedimentary basin is located in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. It reaches from just south of Lubbock, past Midland and Odessa, south nearly to the Rio Grande River in southern West Central Texas, and extending westward into the southeastern part of New Mexico. It is so named because it has one of the world's thickest deposits of rocks from the Permian geologic period. The greater Permian Basin comprises several component basins; of these, the Midland Basin is the largest, Delaware Basin is the second largest, and Marfa Basin is the smallest. The Permian Basin covers more than 86,000 square miles (220,000 km2), and extends across an area approximately 250 miles (400 km) wide and 300 miles (480 km) long.
Palo Duro Canyon is a canyon system of the Caprock Escarpment located in the Texas Panhandle near the cities of Amarillo and Canyon. As the second-largest canyon in the United States, it is roughly 120 mi (190 km) long and has an average width of 6 mi (9.7 km), but reaches a width of 20 mi (32 km) at places. Its depth is around 820 ft (250 m), but in some locations, it increases to 1,000 ft (300 m). Palo Duro Canyon has been named "The Grand Canyon of Texas" both for its size and for its dramatic geological features, including the multicolored layers of rock and steep mesa walls similar to those in the Grand Canyon.
Mount Magazine, officially named Magazine Mountain, is the highest point of the U.S. Interior Highlands and the U.S. state of Arkansas, and is the site of Mount Magazine State Park. It is a flat-topped mountain or mesa capped by hard rock and rimmed by precipitous cliffs. There are two summits atop the mountain: Signal Hill, which reaches 2,753 feet (839 m), and Mossback Ridge, which reaches 2,700 ft (823.0 m).
Selenite, also known as satin spar, desert rose, or gypsum flower are four crystal structure varieties of the mineral gypsum. These four varieties of gypsum may be grouped together and called selenite.
Alabaster Caverns State Park is a 200-acre (0.81 km2) state park approximately 4.5 miles (7.2 km) south of Freedom, Oklahoma, United States near Oklahoma State Highway 50. The park attracted 24,706 visitors in FY 2016, The lowest count of the three parks in its part of Oklahoma. According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, the park Previously attracted about 40,000 visitors per year. It is home to the largest natural gypsum cave in the world that is open to the public. The gypsum is mostly in the form of alabaster. There are several types of alabaster found at the site, including pink, white, and the rare black alabaster. This black alabaster can be found in only three veins in the world, one each in Oklahoma, Italy and China. Another form of gypsum can be found in the many selenite crystal formations.
Black Mesa is a mesa in the U.S. states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. It extends from Mesa de Maya, Colorado southeasterly 28 miles (45 km) along the north bank of the Cimarron River, crossing the northeast corner of New Mexico to end at the confluence of the Cimarron River and Carrizo Creek near Kenton in the Oklahoma panhandle. Its highest elevation is 5,705 feet (1,739 m) in Colorado. The highest point of Black Mesa within New Mexico is 5,239 feet (1,597 m). In northwestern Cimarron County, Oklahoma, Black Mesa reaches 4,973 feet (1,516 m), the highest point in the state of Oklahoma. The plateau that formed at the top of the mesa has been known as a "geological wonder" of North America. There is abundant wildlife in this shortgrass prairie environment, including mountain lions, butterflies, and the Texas horned lizard.
The Oklahoma Panhandle is the extreme northwestern region of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, consisting of Cimarron County, Texas County and Beaver County, from west to east. As with other salients in the United States, its name comes from the similarity of its shape to the handle of a pan.
The exposed geology of the Canyonlands area is complex and diverse; 12 formations are exposed in Canyonlands National Park that range in age from Pennsylvanian to Cretaceous. The oldest and perhaps most interesting was created from evaporites deposited from evaporating seawater. Various fossil-rich limestones, sandstones, and shales were deposited by advancing and retreating warm shallow seas through much of the remaining Paleozoic.
The exposed geology of the Capitol Reef area presents a record of mostly Mesozoic-aged sedimentation in an area of North America in and around Capitol Reef National Park, on the Colorado Plateau in southeastern Utah.
The Arbuckle Mountains are an ancient mountain range in south-central Oklahoma in the United States. They lie in Murray, Carter, Pontotoc, and Johnston counties. The granite rocks of the Arbuckles date back to the Precambrian Eon some 1.4 billion years ago which were overlain by rhyolites during the Cambrian Period. The range reaches a height of 1,412 feet above sea level. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS):
The Arbuckles contain the most diverse suite of mineral resources in Oklahoma: limestone, dolomite, glass sand, granite, sand and gravel, shale, cement, iron ore, lead, zinc, tar sands, and oil and gas; all these minerals are, or have been, produced commercially.
Great Salt Plains Lake is a reservoir located within the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma in the United States named because of the salt flats in the area and for the Salt Fork Arkansas River, which is dammed to form the lake. It is notable for the variety of birds that are attracted to Ralstin Island and also for the selenite crystals that can be collected along the shoreline. Recent droughts, most notably that of 2011, have had an adverse effect on the future of the lake.
Orienta is a small unincorporated community located at the junction U.S. Highway 60 and U.S. Highway 412 in Major County, Oklahoma. It lies north of Fairview, east of the Glass Mountains and south of the Cimarron River. The post office was established March 12, 1901, and took its name from the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway along which it was built,
Northwestern Oklahoma is the geographical region of the state of Oklahoma which includes the Oklahoma Panhandle and a majority of the Cherokee Outlet, stretching to an eastern extent along Interstate 35, and its southern extent along the Canadian River to Noble County. Northwest Oklahoma is also known by its Oklahoma Department of Tourism designation, Red Carpet Country, which is named after the region's red soil and alludes to the metaphor that the panhandle is a "red carpet" into Oklahoma. The region consists of Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woods, Alfalfa, Grant, Kay, Ellis, Woodward, Major, Garfield, Noble, Dewey, Blaine, and Kingfisher counties.
The Geology of Kansas encompasses the geologic history of the US state of Kansas and the present-day rock and soil that is exposed there. Rock that crops out in Kansas was formed during the Phanerozoic eon, which consists of three geologic eras: the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Paleozoic rocks at the surface in Kansas are primarily from the Mississippian, Pennsylvanian and Permian periods.
U.S. Route 412 is a U.S. highway in the south-central portion of the United States, connecting Springer, New Mexico to Columbia, Tennessee. A 504.11-mile (811.29 km) section of the highway crosses the state of Oklahoma, traversing the state from west to east. Entering the state southwest of Boise City, US-412 runs the length of the Oklahoma Panhandle and serves the northern portion of the state's main body, before leaving the state at West Siloam Springs. Along the way, the route serves many notable cities and towns, including Boise City, Guymon, Woodward, Enid, and the state's second-largest city, Tulsa.
Black Mesa State Park is an Oklahoma state park in Cimarron County, near the western border of the Oklahoma panhandle and New Mexico. The park is located about 15 miles (24 km) away from its namesake, Black Mesa, the highest point in Oklahoma. The mesa was named for the layer of black lava rock that coats it.
Glass Mountains State Park is an Oklahoma state park located in Major County, Oklahoma, near the city of Fairview, Oklahoma. A recreational-educational park that is accessible 365 days a year for hiking and picnicking, from sunrise to sunset. There are no campsites or other overnight accommodations in the park. Facilities include a restroom, pavilions, picnic areas, grills, public water supply, handicap trail to historical marker, and a hiking trail from base parking lot to the top of Cathedral Mountain and across the mesa to view the valley floor and Lone Peak Mountain. Points of interest include land geography, geological formations, Selenite gypsum, scenery and wildlife. This range is also known as the Glass Mountains.
Great Salt Plains State Park is a 840-acre (3.4 km2) Oklahoma state park located in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma. It is located 8 miles (13 km) north of Jet, Oklahoma on SH-38 and 12 miles (19 km) east of Cherokee. Recreational opportunities at Great Salt Plains State Park include boating, camping, picnicking, swimming, hiking, mountain biking and exploring. The Great Salt Plains Lake is located at the park and covers 9,300 acres (38 km2) with 41 miles (66 km) of shoreline and is a shallow, salty lake with fishing opportunities for catfish, saugeye, sandbass and hybrid striper. The average depth is reportedly 4 feet (1.2 m) and the impoundment capacity is 31,420 acre-feet. Salinity of the water in the reservoir is one-fourth that of sea water. Personal watercraft are not recommended. The park has RV and tent sites, comfort stations with showers, cabins, picnic sites, group shelters, swimming beach, playgrounds, boat ramps, fishing dock and equestrian trails. Horse rental is not available.