Spanish Peaks

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Spanish Peaks
Huajatolla
Spanish Peaks.JPG
Highest point
PeakWest Spanish Peak
Elevation 13,631 ft (4,155 m)  NAVD 88 [1]
Prominence 3,666 ft (1,117 m) [1]
Coordinates 37°22′32″N104°59′36″W / 37.375588°N 104.993396°W / 37.375588; -104.993396 [1]
Dimensions
Area28 sq mi (73 km2)
Geography
USA Colorado location map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Map of Colorado
Location Huerfano County, Colorado
Range coordinates 37°23′N104°57′W / 37.38°N 104.95°W / 37.38; -104.95 Coordinates: 37°23′N104°57′W / 37.38°N 104.95°W / 37.38; -104.95
Designated1976

The Spanish Peaks are a pair of prominent mountains located in southwestern Huerfano County, Colorado. The Comanche people call them Huajatolla ( /wɑːhɑːˈtɔɪə/ wah-hah-TOY) meaning "double mountain". [2]

Contents

The two peaks, West Spanish Peak (13,626 ft [4,153 m]) and East Spanish Peak (12,683 ft [3,866 m]), are east of, and separate from, the Culebra Range of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. West Spanish Peak is the easternmost mountain over 13,000 ft (4,000 m) in the United States. The Spanish Peaks are situated 100 miles (160 km) due south of Colorado Springs.

The Spanish Peaks were formed by two separate shallow (or hypabyssal) igneous intrusions during the Late-Oligocene epoch of the Paleogene Period. [3] [4] West Spanish Peak is an older (24.59 +/- 0.13 Ma) quartz syenite. East Spanish Peak (23.36 +/- 0.18 Ma) is composed of a granodiorite porphyry surrounded by a more aerially-extensive exposure of granite porphyry. The granite porphyry represents the evolved upper portion of the magma chamber while the interior granodiorite porphyry is exposed by erosion at the summit. [5] [6]

The Spanish Peaks were designated a National Natural Landmark in 1976 as one of the best known examples of igneous dikes. [7]

They were an important landmark on the Santa Fe Trail. The mountains can be seen as far north as Colorado Springs (102 miles [164 km]), as far west as Alamosa (85 miles [137 km]), points south to Raton, New Mexico (65 miles [105 km]), and points east of Trinidad (up to 30 miles [48 km]).

The Spanish Peaks Wilderness area of 17,855 acres (28 sq mi; 72 km2) encompasses the summits of both Spanish peaks. Hiking is popular in the wilderness area.

See also

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West Spanish Peak

West Spanish Peak is a high and prominent mountain summit that is the higher of the two Spanish Peaks in the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent 13,631-foot (4,155 m) peak is located in the Spanish Peaks Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, 9.1 miles (14.7 km) south of the Town of La Veta, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide between Huerfano and Las Animas counties. The summit of West Spanish Peak is the highest point in Las Animas County, Colorado.

East Spanish Peak

East Spanish Peak is a prominent mountain summit that is the lower of the two Spanish Peaks in the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,688-foot (3,867 m) peak is located in the Spanish Peaks Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, 9.3 miles (14.9 km) southeast by south of the Town of La Veta, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide between Huerfano and Las Animas counties. The Spanish Peaks are two large igneous stocks which form an eastern outlier of the Culebra Range, a subrange of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. East Spanish Peak is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude; it is also the easternmost point in the United States over 12,000 feet (3,700 m), 11,000 feet (3,400 m), and 10,000 feet (3,000 m) feet above sea level.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "Spanish Peaks". Peakbagger.com.
  2. Christofferson, Nancy (June 25, 2015). "The Spanish Peaks: Legends". Huerfano World Journal. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  3. Chronic, Halka (1998). Roadside Geology of Colorado. Mountain Press Publishing Company. p. 36. ISBN   0-87842-105-X.
  4. "Igneous Petrology of the Spanish Peaks". February 2012.
  5. Penn, B. S. (1994). An Investigation of the temporal and geochemical characteristics and petrogenetic origins of the Spanish Peaks intrusive rocks of south-central Colorado (Thesis). Colorado School of Mines. p. 199.
  6. Penn, B.S.; Lindsey, D.A. (2009). "40Ar/39Ar dates for the Spanish Peaks intrusions of south-central Colorado". Rocky Mountain Geology. 44 (1): 17–32. doi:10.2113/gsrocky.44.1.17.
  7. "National Registry of Natural Landmarks" (PDF). National Park Service. June 2009.