Sawatch Range

Last updated
Sawatch Range
Monarchpass.JPG
Sawatch Range seen from Monarch Pass
Highest point
PeakMount Elbert
Elevation 14,440 ft (4,401 m)
Coordinates 39°07′03.9″N106°26′43.29″W / 39.117750°N 106.4453583°W / 39.117750; -106.4453583 Coordinates: 39°07′03.9″N106°26′43.29″W / 39.117750°N 106.4453583°W / 39.117750; -106.4453583
Dimensions
Length80 mi (130 km)NW/SE
Geography
CountryUnited States
StateColorado
Parent range Rocky Mountains

The Sawatch Range /səˈwæ/ or Saguache Range [1] [2] 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.

Contents

The range is oriented along a northwest-southeast axis, extending roughly 80 miles (130 km) from 39°37′36″N106°32′13″W / 39.62667°N 106.53694°W / 39.62667; -106.53694 in the north to 38°5′51″N106°3′48″W / 38.09750°N 106.06333°W / 38.09750; -106.06333 in the south. The range contains fifteen peaks in excess of 14,000 feet (4,267 m), also known as fourteeners. The range forms a part of the Continental Divide, and its eastern side drains into the headwaters of the Arkansas River. The western side of the range feeds the headwaters of the Roaring Fork River, the Eagle River, and the Gunnison River, tributaries of the Colorado River.

The Sawatch mountains in general are high, massive, and relatively gentle in contour. While some peaks are rugged enough to require technical climbing, most can be climbed by a simple, yet arduous hike. Notable summits include Mount Elbert, Mount Massive, La Plata Peak, Mount of the Holy Cross, and the Collegiate Peaks (Mounts Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Belford, and Oxford).

State Highway 82 traverses the range at Independence Pass (Colorado). It is also traversed by Cottonwood Pass, which connects the town of Buena Vista with Gunnison County. Both Independence Pass and Cottonwood Pass are over 12,000 feet (3,658 m), making them 2 of the highest passes in Colorado and are typically open only from late spring to mid autumn. Hagerman Pass is another pass to the north, connecting the Arkansas Headwaters near Leadville with the upper valley of the Fryingpan River. Hagerman Pass is traversable with four-wheel drive vehicles and on foot during summer and early autumn months. The range contains numerous hiking trails within the San Isabel National Forest and White River National Forest.

Prominent peaks

Mt. Aetna (13,746 feet (4,190 m)) and Taylor Mtn. Mount Aetna, Taylor Mountain.jpg
Mt. Aetna (13,746 feet (4,190 m)) and Taylor Mtn.
Mount Elbert, the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains. Mount Elbert2.JPG
Mount Elbert, the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains.
Sawatch Range near Buena Vista, Colorado. Sawatch.JPG
Sawatch Range near Buena Vista, Colorado.
Sawatch Range near Twin Lakes. Tlhope.JPG
Sawatch Range near Twin Lakes.
The 18 Mountain Peaks of the Sawatch Range With At Least 500 Meters of Topographic Prominence
Rank Mountain Peak Elevation Prominence Isolation
1 Mount Elbert [3] NGS 14,440 feet
4401 m
9,093 feet
2772 m
670.6 miles
1079.2 km
2 Mount Massive [4] 14,428 feet
4398 m
1,941 feet
592 m
5.1 miles
8.2 km
3 Mount Harvard NGS 14,421 feet
4395 m
2,327 feet
709 m
14.9 miles
24.0 km
4 La Plata Peak [4] 14,343 feet
4372 m
1,841 feet
561 m
6.3 miles
10.1 km
5 Mount Antero NGS 14,276 feet
4351 m
2,503 feet
763 m
17.7 miles
28.6 km
6 Mount Princeton NGS 14,204 feet
4329 m
2,177 feet
664 m
5.2 miles
8.4 km
7 Mount Yale NGS 14,202 feet
4329 m
1,876 feet
572 m
5.5 miles
8.9 km
8 Mount of the Holy Cross NGS 14,011 feet
4271 m
2,111 feet
643 m
18.5 miles
29.8 km
9 Grizzly Peak NGS 13,995 feet
4266 m
1,908 feet
582 m
6.8 miles
10.9 km
10 Mount Ouray NGS 13,961 feet
4255 m
2,659 feet
810 m
13.6 miles
21.9 km
11 Mount Jackson [4] PB 13,676 feet
4169 m
1,810 feet
552 m
3.2 miles
5.2 km
12 Bill Williams Peak [4] PB 13,389 feet
4081 m
1,682 feet
513 m
4.0 miles
6.5 km
13 Antora Peak [4] PB 13,275 feet
4046 m
2,409 feet
734 m
6.7 miles
10.9 km
14 Henry Mountain [4] PB 13,261 feet
4042 m
1,674 feet
510 m
11.5 miles
18.6 km
15 Park Cone [4] PB 12,106 feet
3690 m
2,040 feet
622 m
3.4 miles
5.5 km
16 Red Table Mountain [4] PB 12,043 feet
3671 m
2,017 feet
615 m
10.3 miles
16.6 km
17 Tomichi Dome [4] PB 11,471 feet
3496 m
2,325 feet
709 m
13.3 miles
21.4 km
18 Castle Peak [4] PB 11,285 feet
3440 m
3,040 feet
927 m
18.9 miles
30.5 km

See also

Related Research Articles

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Mosquito Range

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Elk Mountains (Colorado)

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Mount Ouray

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The Collegiate Peaks is a name given to a section of the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains located in central Colorado. Drainages to the east include headwaters of the Arkansas River.

Missouri Mountain

Missouri Mountain is a high mountain summit in the Collegiate Peaks of the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,074-foot (4,290 m) fourteener is located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, 15.2 miles (24.5 km) northwest by west of the Town of Buena Vista in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. Missouri Mountain is separated from its eastern neighbor Mount Belford by Elkhead Pass.

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Cochetopa Hills

The Cochetopa Hills are a ridge of uplands on the Continental Divide in Saguache County, southern Colorado, United States.

The place name "Sawatch" found in the Southern Rocky Mountains of North America is pronounced. This name derives from the Ute language noun "sawup" meaning "sand dunes". The Spanish language version of this name found in the San Luis Closed Basin is usually spelled "Saguache", while the English language version found north of the basin is usually spelled "Sawatch".

Anthracite Range

The Anthracite Range is a mountain range in the West Elk Mountains, a sub-range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The range is located in Gunnison County of western Colorado and lies within the West Elk Wilderness of the Gunnison National Forest. The Anthracite Range is one of several prominent laccoliths found in the West Elk Mountains.

References

  1. The place name "Saguache” is pronounced “Sawatch” /səˈwæ/ . This name derives from the Ute language noun "sawup" /səˈwʌp/ meaning "sand dunes" and is spelled using the Spanish language version of this name "Saguache".
  2. Merkl, Dameon (February 26, 2013), "What's in a Colorado name pronunciation?", The Denver Post , retrieved March 7, 2013
  3. The summit of Mount Elbert is the highest point of the Rocky Mountains and the State of Colorado.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The elevation of this summit has been converted from the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD 29) to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88). National Geodetic Survey