|Mount Sopris West Peak|
|Elevation||12,965 ft (3,952 m)|
|Prominence||1,453 ft (443 m)|
|Isolation||9.23 mi (14.85 km)|
|Location||Pitkin County, Colorado, U.S.|
|Parent range||Elk Mountains|
|Topo map|| USGS 7.5' topographic map |
Mount Sopris, Colorado
|Easiest route||Mount Sopris Trail (hike)|
|Mount Sopris East Peak|
|Elevation||12,965 ft (3,952 m)|
|Prominence||1,453 ft (443 m)|
Mount Sopris is a twin-summit mountain in the northwestern Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent 12,965-foot (3,952 m) mountain is located in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of White River National Forest, 6.6 miles (10.7 km) north by northeast (bearing 30°) of the community of Redstone in Pitkin County, Colorado, United States.
Mount Sopris is located in western Pitkin County, south of Carbondale and southwest of the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork rivers. Mount Sopris is notable for having two summits, East Sopris and West Sopris, that are one-half mile (0.8 km) apart and have the same elevation of 12,965 feet (3,952 m).
It is named for Richard Sopris,a former mayor of Denver and part of the first European expedition in the Roaring Fork Valley. In 2011 J.P. McDaniels petitioned to rename East Sopris "Mount John Denver" after the Colorado singer. A local poll in Aspen and Carbondale said 74 percent of the respondents were against the proposal.
Mount Sopris is believed to have been formed by an igneous intrusion 10,000 feet below the earth's surface, geologically referred to as a pluton, that occurred around 30 million years ago, after the initial uplift of the modern Rocky Mountains. Mount Sopris is not a volcano, but it is possible that an ancient volcano sat above it, with the current rock forming the magma chamber far below. Due to subsequent continued erosion, any evidence is now gone. In either case, the rock that makes up Sopris never reached the surface, cooling and crystallizing in situ, and later becoming exposed due to erosion. Nearby prominent peaks Mount Gunnison and Crested Butte are believed to have formed similarly.
Mount Sopris dominates the skyline of Carbondale and the lower Roaring Fork Valley, serving as an unofficial symbol of the area. It is prominently visible from State Highway 82 in the vicinity of Carbondale. In terms of local relief, it is one of the largest peaks in the state of Colorado. For example, West Sopris rises 6,400 ft (1,905 m) above the valley to the west in only 2.7 mi (4 km). (One can compare this to the corresponding vertical rise of the more well-known Maroon Peak in the heart of the Elks: it rises only about 4,300 ft (1,310 m), at best, in the same horizontal distance.) In fact a vertical rise of over 6,000 feet in less than 3 miles is rare and impressive anywhere in the contiguous United States.
The Mount Sopris Trail ascends to East Sopris via its east ridge. It starts near Dinkle Lake, on the northeast side of the mountain, and passes between the two Thomas Lakes just before reaching timberline. The ascent involves about 4,300 ft (1,300 m) of vertical gain (plus 600 ft/180 m for a round-trip to West Sopris, if desired) and 12 mi (20 km) of hiking (plus 1 mi/1.6 km for West Sopris); it is a strenuous trail hike, with some scree.
In the mountaineering parlance of the Western United States, a fourteener is a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 ft (4267 m). The 96 fourteeners in the United States are all west of the Mississippi River. Colorado has the most (53) of any single state; Alaska is second with 29. Many peak baggers try to climb all fourteeners in the contiguous United States, one particular state, or another region.
Mount Massive is the second-highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The prominent 14,428-foot (4,398 m) fourteener of the Sawatch Range is located in the Mount Massive Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, 10.6 miles (17.1 km) west-southwest of the City of Leadville in Lake County, Colorado, United States. Mount Massive edges out the third-highest summit of the Rockies, Mount Harvard, by 7 feet (2.1 m), but falls short of Mount Elbert by 12 feet (3.7 m). It ranks as the third-highest peak in the contiguous United States after Mount Whitney and Mount Elbert.
The Saguache Range is a high and extensive mountain range in central Colorado which includes eight of the twenty highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains, including Mount Elbert, at 14,440 feet (4,401 m) elevation, the highest peak in the Rockies.
Grays Peak is the tenth-highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The prominent 14,278-foot (4352 m) fourteener is the highest summit of the Front Range and the highest point on the Continental Divide and the Continental Divide Trail in North America. Grays Peak is located in Arapahoe National Forest, 3.9 miles (6.2 km) southeast by east of Loveland Pass on the Continental Divide between Clear Creek and Summit counties. The peak is the highest point in both counties.
Torreys Peak is a mountain in the Front Range region of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It is one of 53 fourteeners in Colorado. Its nearest major city is Denver. Torreys Peak is located along the Continental Divide, as well as the division between Clear Creek County and Summit County.
Blanca Peak is the fourth highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The ultra-prominent 14,351-foot (4,374 m) peak is the highest summit of the Sierra Blanca Massif, the Sangre de Cristo Range, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The fourteener is located 9.6 miles (15.5 km) north by east of the Town of Blanca, on the drainage divide separating Rio Grande National Forest and Alamosa County from the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant and Costilla County. The summit is the highest point of both counties and the entire drainage basin of the Rio Grande. Below the steep North Face of Blanca Peak two live Glaciers once developed, until extinction sometime after 1903. North & South Blanca Glaciers were located at 37° 35N.,longitude 105° 28W. Blanca Peak is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude.
La Plata Peak is the fifth-highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The prominent 14,343-foot (4,372 m) fourteener is located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, 22.7 miles (36.5 km) northwest by west of the Town of Buena Vista in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States.
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.
Pyramid Peak is a fourteen thousand foot mountain in the U.S. state of Colorado. It is the 47th highest mountain peak in Colorado, and 78th highest peak in the United States. It is located in the Elk Mountains in southeastern Pitkin County, approximately 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Aspen. The summit somewhat resembles a ragged square pyramid and is visible from the Roaring Fork River valley north of Aspen along the canyon of Maroon Creek.
Pigeon Peak, elevation 13,978 ft (4,260 m), is a summit in the Needle Mountains, a subrange of the San Juan Mountains in the southwestern part of the US State of Colorado. It rises dramatically on the east side of the Animas River, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of the fourteener Mount Eolus. It is located in the Weminuche Wilderness, part of the San Juan National Forest.
The Southern Rocky Mountains are a major subregion of the Rocky Mountains of North America located in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Wyoming, the central and western portions of Colorado, the northern portion of New Mexico, and extreme eastern portions of Utah. The Southern Rocky Mountains are also commonly known as the Southern Rockies, and since the highest peaks are located in the State of Colorado, they are sometimes known as the Colorado Rockies, although many important ranges and peaks rise in the other three states. The Southern Rockies include the highest mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains and include all 30 of the highest major peaks of the Rockies.
Mount Julian is a mountain summit in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,933-foot (3,942 m) peak is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness, 12.2 miles (19.7 km) west of the Town of Estes Park in Larimer County, Colorado, United States. The mountain was named in honor of Julian Hayden, a civil engineer who lived in Estes Park.
Mount Sniktau is a high mountain summit in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,240-foot (4,036 m) thirteener is located in Arapaho National Forest, 1.6 miles (2.5 km) northeast of Loveland Pass in Clear Creek County, Colorado, United States.
Mount Parnassus is a high mountain summit in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,580-foot (4,139 m) thirteener is located in Arapaho National Forest, 5.4 miles (8.7 km) west-northwest of the Town of Silver Plume in Clear Creek County, Colorado, United States.
Mount Powell is the highest summit of the Gore Range in the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent 13,586-foot (4,141 m) thirteener is located in the Eagles Nest Wilderness, 8.5 miles (13.7 km) north by east of the Town of Vail, Colorado, United States, along the drainage divide separating White River National Forest and Eagle County from Arapaho National Forest and Summit County. Mount Powell was named in honor of John Wesley Powell who climbed to the summit in 1868.