Southern face of Laramie Peak
|Peak||South Bald Mountain|
|Elevation||11,007 ft (3,355 m)|
|States||Wyoming and Colorado|
|Parent range||Rocky Mountains|
The Laramie Mountains are a range of moderately high peaks on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S states of Wyoming and Colorado. The range is the northernmost extension of the line of the ranges along the eastern side of the Rockies, and in particular of the higher peaks of the Front Range directly to the south. North of the range, the gap between the Laramie range and the Bighorn Mountains provided the route for historical trails, such as the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, and the Pony Express.
The Laramie Mountains begin in northern Colorado and extend discontinuously into southeastern Wyoming between Cheyenne and Laramie and northward to Casper. (By some definitions the Laramies are only in Wyoming.) They are named after the Laramie River, which cuts through the range from southwest to northeast and joins the North Platte River east of the range in eastern Wyoming. The mountains in turn give their name to the Laramide orogeny, the uplift of the North American Plate approximately 70 million years ago that created the present Rocky Mountains.
The highest portions of the Laramie mountains are mostly in public ownership, forming part of the Medicine Bow-Routt and Roosevelt national forests.
The mountains consist of a series of Precambrian Sherman granite monadnocks rising above a broad erosion surface that form extensive unwooded parks whose surfaces are generally at about 7,000 feet (2,100 m) above sea level. The high peaks of the range, which are much lower than those commonly associated with the Rocky Mountains, rise abruptly above the surrounding peneplain to altitudes between 8,000 feet (2,400 m) and 9,500 feet (2,900 m) above sea level, with the exceptions of Laramie Peak in Wyoming which tops out at 10,274 feet (3,132 m) and South Bald Mountain in Colorado rising to 11,007 feet (3,355 m). The granitic soils were formed from the erosion of the surrounding monadnocks and have an effective depth of less than 12 inches (30 cm).
Three principal life zones are represented in the Laramies: Upper Sonoran, Transition and Canadian. 4,500 feet (1,400 m) (1370 m), along the North Platte River. On the western slopes the total relief is much less, as the floors of the three intermontane basins that border the Laramies on this side (Shirley, Hanna and Laramie basins) rarely drop below 7,000 feet (2,100 m). An extensive high plain and semi-desert extends from the Laramie Mountains south west as far as the Shirley Mountains. The Laramie Basin separates the Laramie Mountains from the Medicine Bow Mountains to the south and west, and its floor is above 7,000 feet (2,100 m) except for a few depressions and blowouts (such as Cooper Lake).Some early sources indicated that the Hudsonian Zone occurs on Laramie Peak but there is nothing distinctive about either the flora or fauna on the top of this peak, for it consists of nothing but a large granite outcrop. On the eastern and north eastern slopes of the range the prairie/mountain transition is very gentle at the south end (between Cheyenne and Laramie) and much more abrupt and broken farther north. The elevation is lowest, about
The Laramie Mountains are bisected by the Laramie River, which cuts a canyon through the mountains roughly due west of Wheatland, and then continues its generally eastward course to join the North Platte River near the town of Fort Laramie. The division marks the southern end of the continuous coniferous forest in the range, and separates the range into two parts. The southern part is generally drier and much more open, with little or no forest except for the southern end at Pole Mountain and surrounding area, where the interesting granite outcrops at Vedauwoo provide climbing practice and grand picnic scenery.
The range is prominently visible from Interstate 25 between Casper and Cheyenne. Interstate 80 and the Union Pacific Railroad cross the range between Cheyenne and Laramie on an outlying ramp of the High Plains called the "Gangplank".
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The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch 3,000 mi (4,800 km) in straight-line distance from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. The northern terminus is located in the Liard River area east of the Pacific Coast Ranges, while the southernmost point is near the Albuquerque area adjacent the Rio Grande Basin and north of the Sandia–Manzano Mountain Range. Located within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are distinct from the Cascade Range and the Sierra Nevada, which all lie farther to the west.
The South Platte River is one of the two principal tributaries of the Platte River. Flowing through the U.S. states of Colorado and Nebraska, it is itself a major river of the American Midwest and the American Southwest/Mountain West. Its drainage basin includes much of the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, much of the populated region known as the Colorado Front Range and Eastern Plains, and a portion of southeastern Wyoming in the vicinity of the city of Cheyenne. It joins the North Platte River in western Nebraska to form the Platte, which then flows across Nebraska to the Missouri. The river serves as the principal source of water for eastern Colorado. In its valley along the foothills in Colorado, it has permitted agriculture in an area of the Colorado Piedmont and Great Plains that is otherwise arid.
Laramie is a city in and the county seat of Albany County, Wyoming, United States. The population was estimated 32,711 in 2019, making it the third-largest city in Wyoming after Cheyenne and Casper. Located on the Laramie River in southeastern Wyoming, the city is north west of Cheyenne, at the junction of Interstate 80 and U.S. Route 287.
The Platte River is a major river in the State of Nebraska. It is about 310 mi (500 km) long; measured to its farthest source via its tributary, the North Platte River, it flows for over 1,050 miles (1,690 km). The Platte River is a tributary of the Missouri River, which itself is a tributary of the Mississippi River which flows to the Gulf of Mexico. The Platte over most of its length is a broad, shallow, meandering stream with a sandy bottom and many islands—a braided stream.
The territory was organized in the wake of the Pike's Peak Gold Rush of 1858–1861, which brought the first large concentration of white settlement to the region.
The Front Range is a mountain range of the Southern Rocky Mountains of North America located in the central portion of the U.S. State of Colorado, and southeastern portion of the U.S. State of Wyoming. It is the first mountain range encountered as one goes westbound along the 40th parallel north across the Great Plains of North America.
The North Platte River is a major tributary of the Platte River and is approximately 716 miles (1,152 km) long, counting its many curves. In a straight line, it travels about 550 miles (890 km), along its course through the U.S. states of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska.
The Bighorn Mountains are a mountain range in northern Wyoming and southern Montana in the United States, forming a northwest-trending spur from the Rocky Mountains extending approximately 200 miles (320 km) northward on the Great Plains. They are separated from the Absaroka Range, which lie on the main branch of the Rockies to the west, by the Bighorn Basin. Much of the land is contained within the Bighorn National Forest.
The Wind River Range, is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in western Wyoming in the United States. The range runs roughly NW–SE for approximately 100 mi (160 km). The Continental Divide follows the crest of the range and includes Gannett Peak, which at 13,802 ft (4,207 m), is the highest peak in Wyoming; and also Fremont Peak at 13,750 ft (4,191 m), the third highest peak in Wyoming. There are more than 40 other named peaks in excess of 12,999 ft (3,962 m). With the exception of the Grand Teton in the Teton Range, the next 19 highest peaks in Wyoming after Gannett are also in the Winds.
The Laramie River is a tributary of the North Platte River, approximately 280 miles (450 km) long, in the U.S. states of Colorado and Wyoming. The river was named for Jacques La Ramie, a fur trapper who visited the area in the early 19th century. Laramie County, Wyoming, the city of Laramie, and other geographical entities in the region have "Laramie" in their names.
The Uinta Mountains are an east-west trending chain of mountains in northeastern Utah extending slightly into southern Wyoming in the United States. As a subrange of the Rocky Mountains, they are unusual for being the highest range in the contiguous United States running east to west, and lie approximately 100 miles (160 km) east of Salt Lake City. The range has peaks ranging from 11,000 to 13,528 feet, with the highest point being Kings Peak, also the highest point in Utah. The Mirror Lake Highway crosses the western half of the Uintas on its way to Wyoming.
The Medicine Bow Mountains are a mountain range in the Rocky Mountains that extend for 100-mile (160 km) from northern Colorado into southern Wyoming. The northern extent of this range is the sub-range the Snowy Range. From the northern end of Colorado's Never Summer Mountains, the Medicine Bow mountains extend north from Cameron Pass along the border between Larimer and Jackson counties in Colorado and northward into south central Wyoming. In Wyoming, the range sits west of Laramie, in Albany and Carbon counties to the route of the Union Pacific Railroad and U.S. Interstate 80. The mountains often serve as a symbol for the city of Laramie. The range is home to Snowy Range Ski Area.
The Dakota Hogback is a long hogback ridge at the eastern fringe of the Rocky Mountains that extends north-south from southern Wyoming through Colorado and into northern New Mexico in the United States. The ridge is prominently visible as the first line of foothills along the edge of the Great Plains. It is generally faulted along its western side, and varies in height, with gaps in numerous locations where rivers exit the mountains. The ridge takes its name from the Dakota Formation, a sandstone formation that forms the ridge. The hogback was formed during the Laramide orogeny, approximately 50 million years ago, when the modern Rockies were created. The general uplift to the west created long faulting in the North American Plate, resulting in the creation of the hogback.
The Laramie Plains is an arid highland at an elevation of approx. 8,000 feet (2,400 m) in south central Wyoming in the United States. The plains extend along the upper basin of the Laramie River on the east side of the Medicine Bow Range. The city of Laramie is the largest community in the valley. The plains are separated from the Great Plains to the east by the Laramie Mountains, a spur of the Front Range that extends northward from Larimer County, Colorado west of Cheyenne. The high altitude of the region makes for a cold climate and a relatively short growing season. Unsuitable to most cultivation, the plains have historically been used for livestock raising, primarily of sheep and cattle.
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.
The Laramie-Poudre Tunnel is an early transmountain tunnel in the U.S. state of Colorado. The tunnel transfers water from the west side of the Laramie River basin, which drains to the North Platte River, to the east side Cache la Poudre River basin that drains to the South Platte River. The tunnel is about 11,500 feet (3,500 m) long with variable diameters with a minimum diameter of about 5.3 feet (1.6 m). The diameter varied due to the different material mined through and the erosion of almost 90 years of water flow. It is located at about 8,400 feet (2,600 m) elevation with about a 1.7 degree down slope. The Laramie River lies about 225 feet (69 m) higher than the Cache La Poudre River at this location separated only by a mountain ridge. The Laramie-Poudre Tunnel is located about 45 miles (72 km) west-northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado, about 20 miles (32 km) south of the Wyoming border and about 25 miles (40 km) north of Rocky Mountain National Park. It was built between 1909 and 1911 for the Laramie-Poudre Reservoirs & Irrigation Co. to convey water from the Laramie River to the Poudre River for Front Range irrigation. The tunnel was driven for the purpose of conveying through the divide 800 cu.ft of water per second.
The North American Cordillera is the North American portion of the American Cordillera which is a mountain chain (cordillera) along the western side of the Americas. The North American Cordillera covers an extensive area of mountain ranges, intermontane basins, and plateaus in western North America, including much of the territory west of the Great Plains. It is also sometimes called the Western Cordillera, the Western Cordillera of North America, or the Pacific Cordillera.
The geography of the U.S. State of Colorado is diverse, encompassing both rugged mountainous terrain, vast plains, desert lands, desert canyons, and mesas. In 1861, the United States Congress defined the boundaries of the new Territory of Colorado exclusively by lines of latitude and longitude, stretching from 37°N to 41°N latitude, and from 102°02'48"W to 109°02'48"W longitude. Starting in 1868, official surveys demarcated the boundaries, deviating from the parallels and meridians in several places. Later surveys attempted to correct some of these mistakes but in 1925 the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the earlier demarcation was the official boundary. The borders of Colorado are now officially defined by 697 boundary markers connected by straight boundary lines. Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah are the only states that have their borders defined solely by straight boundary lines with no natural features. The southwest corner of Colorado is the Four Corners Monument at 36°59'56"N, 109°2'43"W. This is the only place in the United States where four states meet: Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.
The Wyoming Craton is a craton in the west-central United States and western Canada – more specifically, in Montana, Wyoming, southern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan, and parts of northern Utah. Also called the Wyoming Province, it is the initial core of the continental crust of North America.
Split Rock, also known as Twin Peaks, is a mountain in the Granite Mountains of central Wyoming. The peak has an elevation of 7,305 feet (2,227 m), and is located about 10 miles (16 km) north of the Muddy Gap junction between Casper and Rawlins. The mountain is distinctive for a deep V-shaped cleft dividing its summit. The mountain was a prominent landmark on the Oregon Trail and other early settlement routes in the region, which crossed a low rise at the eastern end of the range between Casper and the North Platte River valley and the Sweetwater River.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article " Laramie Mountains ".|