|Navajo State Park|
Navajo Lake at sunset from Rosa Campground
|Location||Archuleta / La Plata counties, Colorado, United States|
|Nearest city||Arboles, Colorado|
|Area||5,087 acres (2,059 ha)|
|Governing body||Colorado Parks and Wildlife|
Navajo State Park is a state park of Colorado, USA, on the north shore of Navajo Lake. Touted as Colorado's answer to Lake Powell, this reservoir on the San Juan River begins in Colorado's San Juan Mountains and extends 20 miles (32 km) into New Mexico. Its area is 15,000 acres (6,100 ha), and it has 150 miles (240 km) of shoreline in two states. Park activities include boating, houseboating, fishing, camping, and wildlife viewing. There is a New Mexico state park at the southern end of the lake.
State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the sub-national level within those nations which use "state" as a political subdivision. State parks are typically established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, or recreational potential. There are state parks under the administration of the government of each U.S. state, some of the Mexican states, and in Brazil. The term is also used in the Australian state of Victoria. The equivalent term used in Canada, Argentina, South Africa and Belgium, is provincial park. Similar systems of local government maintained parks exist in other countries, but the terminology varies.
Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U.S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census.
Navajo Lake is a reservoir located in San Juan County and Rio Arriba County in northwestern New Mexico, in the southwestern United States. Portions of the reservoir extend into Archuleta County in southern Colorado. The lake is part of the Colorado River Storage Project, which here manages the upper reaches of the San Juan River, storing and releasing water that is used locally for irrigation, or ultimately reaching the Colorado River in Utah. Water is impounded in Navajo Lake by the earth- and rock-filled Navajo Dam, 3,800 feet (1,200 m) long and 400 feet (120 m) high, completed in 1962. The 15,600-acre (63 km2) lake is over 25 miles (40 km) long and lies at an elevation of up to 6,085 feet (1,855 m).
The area where Navajo State Park now sits was originally inhabited by the Ancestral Puebloans who abandoned the area around 1050 A.D. because of a serious drought at that time. The Ute and Navajo tribes settled the area during the 14th century.
The Ancestral Puebloans were an ancient Native American culture that spanned the present-day Four Corners region of the United States, comprising southeastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado. The Ancestral Puebloans are believed to have developed, at least in part, from the Oshara Tradition, who developed from the Picosa culture.
Ute people are Native Americans of the Ute tribe and culture and are among the Great Basin classification of Indigenous People. They have lived in the regions of present-day Utah and Colorado for centuries, hunting, fishing and gathering food. In addition to their home regions within Colorado and Utah, their hunting grounds extended into Wyoming, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. They had sacred grounds outside of their home domain that were also visited seasonally. Spiritual and ceremonial practices were observed by the Utes.
The 10 explorers of the Dominguez–Escalante Expedition were some of the first white men entering the area. Their mission was to create a route from New Mexico to California for the Spaniards. In the early 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad laid their tracks in the area. The railroad served the area until 1967 and was an important part of the economy.
The Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, often shortened to Rio Grande, D&RG or D&RGW, formerly the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, was an American Class I railroad company. The railroad started as a 3 ft narrow-gauge line running south from Denver, Colorado in 1870. It served mainly as a transcontinental bridge line between Denver, and Salt Lake City, Utah. The Rio Grande was also a major origin of coal and mineral traffic.
The Navajo Dam was constructed in 1962 to provide irrigation water for the Navajo Nation.
Navajo Dam is a dam on the San Juan River, a tributary of the Colorado River, in northwestern New Mexico in the United States. The 402-foot (123 m) high earthen dam is situated in the foothills of the San Juan Mountains about 44 miles (71 km) upstream and east of Farmington, New Mexico. It was built by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) in the 1960s to provide flood control, irrigation, domestic and industrial water supply, and storage for droughts. A small hydroelectric power plant was added in the 1980s.
The Navajo Nation is a Native American territory covering about 17,544,500 acres, occupying portions of northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, and northwestern New Mexico in the United States. This is the largest land area retained by a Native American tribe, with a population of roughly 350,000 as of 2016.
Many migratory and resident birds are known in this area, including several species of raptors, pinyon jay, black-billed magpie, common raven, and waterfowl and shorebirds which are attracted to the reservoir. Mule deer are a common sight, as are cottontail rabbit, coyote, red fox, porcupine, striped skunk and ground squirrel. Rare wildlife species present include the river otter (which has been reintroduced to the Piedra River), the bald eagle, and the white pelican (a summer resident). Anglers are attracted by the warm- and cold-water fishing opportunities, which include largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, northern pike, rainbow trout and kokanee salmon.
Park uplands are dominated by pinyon-juniper woodland, sagebrush shrubland and western slope grassland communities. Short-statured pinyon pine and Utah juniper trees with an understory of shrubs and grasses comprise the pinyon-juniper woodland community, occupying dry slopes, hills and mesa tops. Common understory plant species include Gambel oak, big sagebrush, Indian ricegrass, western wheatgrass, galleta and blue grama. The sagebrush shrubland community is dominated by big sagebrush, rabbitbrush, Gambel oak and skunkbrush sumac. This shrub community occupies more mesic slopes and provides understory for the pinyon-juniper community.
In ecology, a mesic habitat is a type of habitat with a moderate or well-balanced supply of moisture, e.g., a mesic forest, a temperate hardwood forest, or dry-mesic prairie. Mesic habitats transition to xeric shrublands in a non-linear fashion, which is evidence of a threshold. Mesic is one of a triad of terms used to describe the amount of water in a habitat. The others are xeric and hydric.
Western slope grasslands support the sod-forming blue grama, galleta and western wheatgrass, and the bunchgrasses Indian ricegrass, needle-and-thread grass and Junegrass. Wetland, riparian and aquatic plant communities have become established around the reservoir, in the San Juan and Piedra river valleys above the reservoir and on ground water seeps.
Navajo State Park features a 15,000 surface-acre reservoir formed in the San Juan River Valley of southwestern Colorado. The San Juan River is joined by the Piedra River near the northern park boundary. Uplands within the park are characterized by flat-topped mesas and gently rolling hills, occasionally cut by steep-sided canyons. The uplands are Tertiary sedimentary rocks deposited during Eocene times, which are represented by sandstones and conglomerates of the San Jose and Blanco Basin formations and Telluride Conglomerate. Quaternary surficial deposits are present along both rivers as alluvium, terrace gravels and alluvial fan deposits.
The Piedra River is a river in the U.S. state of Colorado. It drains parts of Archuleta, Hinsdale, and Mineral counties along a mainstem length of about 40 miles (64 km). The river flows through a series of isolated box canyons, emptying into the San Juan River at Navajo Lake. Its name stems from the Spanish word, piedra, meaning rock.
Tertiary is a widely used, but obsolete term for the geologic period from 66 million to 2.6 million years ago. The period began with the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, at the start of the Cenozoic Era, and extended to the beginning of the Quaternary glaciation at the end of the Pliocene Epoch. The time span covered by the Tertiary has no exact equivalent in the current geologic time system, but it is essentially the merged Paleogene and Neogene periods, which are informally called the Lower Tertiary and the Upper Tertiary, respectively.
The Eocene Epoch, lasting from 13C in the atmosphere was exceptionally low in comparison with the more common isotope 12C. The end is set at a major extinction event called the Grande Coupure or the Eocene–Oligocene extinction event, which may be related to the impact of one or more large bolides in Siberia and in what is now Chesapeake Bay. As with other geologic periods, the strata that define the start and end of the epoch are well identified, though their exact dates are slightly uncertain., is a major division of the geologic timescale and the second epoch of the Paleogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Eocene spans the time from the end of the Paleocene Epoch to the beginning of the Oligocene Epoch. The start of the Eocene is marked by a brief period in which the concentration of the carbon isotope
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile.
The Great Basin Desert is part of the Great Basin between the Sierra Nevada and the Wasatch Range. The desert is a geographical region that largely overlaps the Great Basin shrub steppe defined by the World Wildlife Fund, and the Central Basin and Range ecoregion defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and United States Geological Survey. It is a temperate desert with hot, dry summers and snowy winters. The desert spans a large part of the state of Nevada, and extends into western Utah, eastern California, and Idaho. The desert is one of the four biologically defined deserts in North America, in addition to the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Deserts.
Pawnee National Grassland is a United States National Grassland located in northeastern Colorado on the Colorado Eastern Plains. The grassland is located in the South Platte River basin in remote northern and extreme northeastern Weld County between Greeley and Sterling. It comprises two parcels totaling 193,060 acres (78,130 ha) largely between State Highway 14 and the Wyoming border. The larger eastern parcel lies adjacent to the borders of both Nebraska and Wyoming. It is administered in conjunction with the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest from the U.S. Forest Service office in Fort Collins, Colorado, with a local ranger district office in Greeley.
Ord's kangaroo rat is a kangaroo rat native to western North America, specifically the Great Plains and the Great Basin, with its range extending from extreme southern Canada to central Mexico.
The Eastern Cascades Slopes and Foothills ecoregion is a Level III ecoregion designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington, and California. In the rain shadow of the Cascade Range, the eastern side of the mountains experiences greater temperature extremes and receives less precipitation than the west side. Open forests of ponderosa pine and some lodgepole pine distinguish this region from the Cascades ecoregion, where hemlock and fir forests are more common, and from the lower, drier ecoregions to the east, where shrubs and grasslands are predominant. The vegetation is adapted to the prevailing dry, continental climate and frequent wildfire. Volcanic cones and buttes are common in much of the region.
The Blue Mountains ecoregion is a Level III ecoregion designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Pacific Northwest, mainly in the state of Oregon, with small areas over the state border in Idaho and southeastern Washington. It is also contiguous with the World Wildlife Fund's Blue Mountain forests ecoregion.
The Columbia Plateau ecoregion is a Level III ecoregion designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encompassing approximately 32,100 square miles (83,139 km2) of land within the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The ecoregion extends across a wide swath of the Columbia River Basin from The Dalles, Oregon to Lewiston, Idaho to Okanogan, Washington near the Canada–US border. It includes nearly 500 miles (800 km) of the Columbia River, as well as the lower reaches of major tributaries such as the Snake and Yakima rivers and the associated drainage basins. It is named for the Columbia River Plateau, a flood basalt plateau formed by the Columbia River Basalt Group during the late Miocene and early Pliocene. The arid sagebrush steppe and grasslands of the region are flanked by moister, predominantly forested, mountainous ecoregions on all sides. The underlying basalt is up to 2 miles (3 km) thick and partially covered by thick loess deposits. Where precipitation amounts are sufficient, the deep loess soils have been extensively cultivated for wheat. Water from the Columbia River is subject to resource allocation debates involving fisheries, navigation, hydropower, recreation, and irrigation, and the Columbia Basin Project has dramatically converted much of the region to agricultural use.
The Snake River Plain ecoregion is a Level III ecoregion designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. states of Idaho and Oregon. It follows the Snake River across Idaho, stretching roughly 400 miles (640 km) from the Wyoming border to Eastern Oregon in the xeric intermontane west. Characterized by plains and low hills, it is considerably lower and less rugged than surrounding ecoregions. Many of the alluvial valleys bordering the Snake River are used for agriculture. Where irrigation water and soil depth are sufficient, sugar beets, potatoes, alfalfa, small grains, and vegetables are grown. Elsewhere, livestock grazing is widespread. Cattle feedlots and dairy operations are found locally.
The Northern Basin and Range ecoregion is a Level III ecoregion designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. states of Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and California. It contains dissected lava plains, rolling hills, alluvial fans, valleys, and scattered mountain ranges in the northern part of the Great Basin. Although arid, the ecoregion is higher and cooler than the Snake River Plain to the north and has more available moisture and a cooler climate than the Central Basin and Range to the south. Its southern boundary is determined by the highest shoreline of Pleistocene Lake Bonneville, which once inundated the Central Basin and Range. The western part of the region is internally drained; its eastern stream network drains to the Snake River system.
Crawford State Park is a Colorado State Park that encompasses Crawford Reservoir located about 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the town of Crawford in Delta County, Colorado. The north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is about 12 miles (19 km) southwest and Delta is about 31 miles (50 km) west on Highway 92.
Rifle Gap State Park is a Colorado State Park located in Garfield County near Rifle, Colorado. The 1,341-acre (5.43 km2) park established in 1966 includes a 360-acre (1.5 km2) reservoir. Plant communities are pinyon-juniper woodlands, sagebrush shrubland with deciduous riparian forest in places along the edge of the Rifle Gap Reservoir. Commonly observed wildlife include mule deer, elk and great horned owls. Park facilities include a visitors center, campgrounds, picnic sites and a boat ramp.
Canaan Mountain Wilderness is a 44,531-acre (180.2 km2) wilderness area in the US state of Utah. It was designated March 30, 2009, as part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. Located near the town of Hildale in southeastern Washington County, it borders Zion National Park to the north, Kane County to the east, and the state of Arizona to the south.
Paonia State Park is a Colorado State Park located in Gunnison County east of Paonia, Colorado. The 1,857-acre (7.52 km2) park in a canyon surrounding Paonia Reservoir on the North Fork Gunnison River was established in 1964. Park facilities include campsites, picnic sites and a boat ramp. Geologic formations from the Cretaceous and Paleocene periods are visible in the park, along with fossilized palm fronds and leaf imprints. Park uplands are gambel oak shrublands along with mixed conifer and aspen forests. Commonly seen wildlife includes, mule deer, elk, cottontail rabbit and marmot.
Pinyon-juniper woodland, also spelled Piñon-juniper woodland, is a vegetation type (biome) of Western United States higher elevation deserts, characterized by being an open forest dominated by low, bushy, evergreen junipers, pinyon pines, and their associates which vary from region to region. The woodland's crown height may vary from less than 10 meters up to 15 meters, depending on the site. It may consist of pure stands of pinyon pine, or pure stands of juniper.
The Great Basin montane forests is an ecoregion of the Temperate coniferous forests biome, as designated by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Chrysothamnus molestus is a species of flowering plant in the aster family known by the common names Arizona rabbitbrush, Tusayan rabbitbrush, disturbed rabbitbrush, and stickyfruit low rabbitbrush. It is endemic to the State of Arizona in the southwestern United States, where it is known from Coconino, Apache, and Navajo Counties.
Cirsium perplexans is a species of flowering plant in the aster family known by the common names Rocky Mountain thistle and Adobe Hills thistle. It is endemic to Colorado in the United States, where it occurs in the Colorado and Gunnison River Valleys in the Rocky Mountains.
The Datil Mountains are a small range on the northern edge of the Mogollon-Datil volcanic field, just northwest of the Plains of San Agustin in the U.S. state of New Mexico. The range lies in Socorro and Catron Counties, north of the town of Datil, New Mexico and takes its name from the Spanish word for “date,” dating back over two hundred years. In The Place Names of New Mexico, Robert Julyan suggests two possible explanations for the name: 1) that “the seedpods of the broad-leafed yucca sufficiently resembled dates” or 2) “the Spanish applied the name to the fruit of the prickly pear cactus.” The area includes the major ridgeline of Madre Mountain, which is sacred ground to the Acoma, Laguna, and Zuni tribes, as well as several other unnamed peaks and ridges.
Sagebrush scrub is a vegetation type (biome) of mid to high elevation Western United States deserts characterized by low growing, drought resistant shrubs including sagebrush and its associates. It is the dominant vegetation type of the Great Basin Desert, occurs along the margins of the Mojave Desert, including in the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevadas and Transverse Ranges of California, and occurs in the Colorado Plateau and Canyonlands region, where it may be referred to as cool desert shrub.