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
In geomorphology, a butte is an isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top; buttes are smaller landforms than mesas, plateaus, and tablelands. The word "butte" comes from a French word meaning "small hill"; its use is prevalent in the Western United States, including the southwest where "mesa" is used for the larger landform. Because of their distinctive shapes, buttes are frequently landmarks in plains and mountainous areas. In differentiating mesas and buttes, geographers use the rule of thumb that a mesa has a top that is wider than its height, while a butte has a top that is narrower than its height.
The Permian is a geologic period and system which spans 47 million years from the end of the Carboniferous Period 298.9 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Triassic period 251.902 Mya. It is the last period of the Paleozoic era; the following Triassic period belongs to the Mesozoic era. The concept of the Permian was introduced in 1841 by geologist Sir Roderick Murchison, who named it after the city of Perm.
Red beds are sedimentary rocks, which typically consist of sandstone, siltstone, and shale that are predominantly red in color due to the presence of ferric oxides. Frequently, these red-colored sedimentary strata locally contain thin beds of conglomerate, marl, limestone, or some combination of these sedimentary rocks. The ferric oxides, which are responsible for the red color of red beds, typically occur as a coating on the grains of sediments comprising red beds. Classic examples of red beds are the Permian and Triassic strata of the western United States and the Devonian Old Red Sandstone facies of Europe.
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.
Alluvium is loose, unconsolidated soil or sediment that has been eroded, reshaped by water in some form, and redeposited in a non-marine setting. Alluvium is typically made up of a variety of materials, including fine particles of silt and clay and larger particles of sand and gravel. When this loose alluvial material is deposited or cemented into a lithological unit, or lithified, it is called an alluvial deposit.
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 Cherokee Outlet, or Cherokee Strip, was located in what is now the state of Oklahoma in the United States. It was a sixty-mile (97 km) wide parcel of land south of the Oklahoma-Kansas border between the 96th and 100th meridians. The Cherokee Outlet was created in 1836. The United States forced the Cherokee Nation of Indians to cede to the United States all lands east of the Mississippi River in exchange for a reservation and an "outlet" in Indian Territory. At the time of its creation, the Cherokee Outlet was about 225 miles (360 km) long. The cities of Enid, Woodward, and Ponca City would later be founded within the boundaries of what had been the Cherokee Outlet.
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.
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,
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.
Blaine County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,785. Its county seat is Watonga. Blaine County is the birthplace of voice actor Clarence Nash, the voice of Disney's Donald Duck.
Scouting in New Mexico has had a rich and colorful history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live. The state is home to the Philmont Scout Ranch.
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 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 Wichita Mountains are located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It is the principal relief system in the Southern Oklahoma Aulacogen, being the result of a failed continental rift. The mountains are a northwest-southeast trending series of rocky promontories, many capped by 500 million-year old granite. These were exposed and rounded by weathering during the Pennsylvanian & Permian Periods. The eastern end of the mountains offers 1,000 feet (305 m) of topographic relief in a region otherwise dominated by gently rolling grasslands.
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.
The Cimarron River extends 698 miles (1,123 km) across New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas. The headwaters flow from Johnson Mesa west of Folsom in northeastern New Mexico. Much of the river's length lies in Oklahoma, where it either borders or passes through eleven counties. There are no major cities along its route.The river enters the Oklahoma Panhandle near Kenton, crosses the southeastern corner of Colorado into Kansas, re-enters the Oklahoma Panhandle, re-enters Kansas, and finally returns to Oklahoma where it joins the Arkansas River at Keystone Reservoir west of Tulsa, Oklahoma, its only impoundment. The Cimarron drains a basin that encompasses about 18,927 square miles (49,020 km2).
Kenton is a census designated place (CDP) in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, United States. There is a store, "The Merc", bed and breakfasts, guest ranches, three church congregations, and a post office, which was established May 12, 1891. Kenton is the only Oklahoma community that observes Mountain Time, which legally begins a few miles west at the Oklahoma/New Mexico state line. To avoid confusion, "Mountain Time" is often added when giving the time to visitors. Posted business hours all end with "MT" or "MST" to specify Mountain Time. From Kenton, it is approximately 155 miles (249 km) south to Amarillo, Texas, 237 miles (381 km) northwest to Colorado Springs, Colorado, 306 miles (492 km) northwest to Denver, Colorado, 314 miles (505 km) southwest to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 361 miles (581 km) southeast to Oklahoma City, the nearest major population centers. Camp Billy Joe, just east of Kenton, is home to the annual fall week long star party sponsored by the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club which draws approximately 500 visitors and is rated as among the largest and best such astronomy events in the nation.
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.