Treasure Mountain (Colorado)

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Treasure Mountain
Treasure Mountain, Elk Mountains, Gunnison County, Colorado, USA.jpg
Treasure Mountain viewed from the southeast.
Highest point
Elevation 13,535 ft (4,125 m) [1] [2]
Prominence 2,828 ft (862 m) [2]
Parent peak Hagerman Peak [3]
Isolation 6.92 mi (11.14 km) [2]
Listing
Coordinates 39°01′28″N107°07′22″W / 39.0244342°N 107.1228254°W / 39.0244342; -107.1228254 Coordinates: 39°01′28″N107°07′22″W / 39.0244342°N 107.1228254°W / 39.0244342; -107.1228254 [4]
Geography
USA Colorado location map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Treasure Mountain
Location Gunnison County, Colorado, U.S. [4]
Parent range Elk Mountains [3]
Topo map USGS 7.5' topographic map
Snowmass Mountain, Colorado [4]

Treasure Mountain, elevation 13,535 ft (4,125 m), is a summit in the Elk Mountains of western Colorado. The mountain is in the Raggeds Wilderness southeast of Marble. The massif has been the site of marble mining and a legend of lost French gold.

Contents

Immediate vicinity

Treasure Mountain forms a single massif with Treasury Mountain, elevation 13,462 feet (4,103 m), that rises on the southeast. [5] Another Treasure Mountain, el. 11,834 feet (3,607 m) is located in Mineral County, Colorado. [6]

Other peaks in the vicinity include Whitehouse Mountain, elevation 11,975 feet (3,650 m); Bear Mountain, elevation 12,373 feet (3,771 m); Crystal Peak, elevation 12,632 feet (3,850 m); Purple Mountain, elevation 12,856 feet (3,919 m); and Cinnamon Mountain, 12,293 feet (3,747 m). The Ruby Range extends southward from Treasury Mountain forming the east boundary of the Raggeds Wilderness.

The Yule Lakes are a series of lakes situated on the southern slopes which drain into Yule Creek and feeds Beaver Lake east of Marble. The watershed is part of Crystal River basin which drains the northern slopes of Treasure Mountain and is the northeastern boundary of Raggeds Wilderness. [7] Yule Pass, south of Treasury Mountain separates the Raggeds Wilderness of the Sopris Ranger District from the Gunnison Ranger District and leads to the southeast along the Slate River drainage. Yule Pass is to the east of the headwaters of Yule Creek.

Geology

The Colorado Yule marble (a.k.a. Yule Colorado marble) comes from the Leadville Limestone of Mississippian age quarried near the mountain. [8] [9] [10] It was formed by contact metamorphism in the Tertiary period following the intrusion and uplift of nearby granitic Treasure Mountain dome. [8] [11] [12]

Yule marble was used in the building of the Lincoln Memorial. The Yule marble quarry is at an elevation of 9,300 ft (2,800 m) on the west side of Treasure Mountain along Yule Creek. [8] The quality and durability of the Yule marble was questioned prior to the building of the Lincoln Memorial as was the recently opened quarry's ability to provide the quantity and size required for construction. [8]

Origin of name

The original name of the peak was Citadel Mountain. The current name came from an ill-fated French mining expedition described in folklore documented in the 1930s and 1940s. [13] [14]

The folklore states that the expedition was organized in the late 1700s by Napoleon Bonaparte, who needed financing to fund his ambitions. [15] [16] The expedition was reported to have consisted of 300 men and 450 horses. They left New Orleans and traveled through Leavenworth, Kansas en route to the Rocky Mountains. The folklore claims that a large amount of gold was discovered and amassed by the expedition near Wolf Creek Pass. The local Native Americans were reportedly initially friendly, but relations deteriorated. In the folklore, the French buried the gold and escaped from the area, pursued and hunted by warriors. One survivor, by the name of Le Blanc, made it back to Kansas. He was the expedition's historian and was reported to have made two maps of the hidden treasure. [13] [14]

A later expedition failed to find the treasure. [13] [14] William Yule, many years later, claimed to possess a copy of the original map and explored the area south and west of the mountain. [17] The mountain was named after the legend of the missing treasure. [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

Castle Peak (Colorado)

Castle Peak is the ninth highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The prominent 14,279-foot (4352.2 m) fourteener is the highest summit of the Elk Mountains and the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The peak is located 11.6 miles (18.7 km) northeast by north of the Town of Crested Butte, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating Gunnison National Forest and Gunnison County from White River National Forest and Pitkin County. The summit of Castle Peak is the highest point of both counties.

Uncompahgre Peak

Uncompahgre Peak is the sixth highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The prominent 14,321-foot (4365.0 m) fourteener is the highest summit of the San Juan Mountains and the highest point in the drainage basin of the Colorado River and the Gulf of California. It is located in the Uncompahgre Wilderness in the northern San Juans, in northern Hinsdale County approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of the town of Lake City.

Elk Mountains (Colorado)

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.

Mount Sopris

Mount Sopris is a twin-summit mountain in the northwestern Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 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 of the community of Redstone in Pitkin County, Colorado, United States.

Yule Marble Marble from Colorado

Yule Marble is a marble of metamorphosed Leadville Limestone found only in the Yule Creek Valley, in the West Elk Mountains of Colorado, 2.8 miles (4.5 km) southeast of the town of Marble, Colorado. First discovered in 1873, it is quarried underground at an elevation of 9,300 feet (2,800 m) above sea level—in contrast to most marble, which is quarried from an open pit and at much lower elevations.

White River National Forest

White River National Forest is a National Forest in northwest Colorado. It is named after the White River that passes through its northern section. It is the most visited National Forest in the United States, primarily from users of the twelve ski areas within its boundaries.

San Luis Peak

San Luis Peak is the highest summit of the La Garita Mountains range in the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent 14,022-foot (4273.8 m) fourteener is located in the Gunnison National Forest portion of the La Garita Wilderness in Saguache County approximately 10 miles (16 km) north of Creede. It is situated rather far to the east of the other fourteeners in the San Juans, and has more of a wilderness setting than many of the others.

West Elk Mountains

The West Elk Mountains are a high mountain range in the west-central part of the U.S. state of Colorado. They lie primarily within the Gunnison National Forest, and part of the range is protected as the West Elk Wilderness. The range is primarily located in Gunnison County, with small parts in eastern Delta and Montrose counties.

James Peak

James Peak is a high mountain summit in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,300-foot (4,054 m) thirteener is located on the Continental Divide in the James Peak Wilderness of Arapaho National Forest and Roosevelt National Forest, 5.2 miles (8.4 km) east-southeast of the Town of Winter Park, Colorado, United States. The summit is the tripoint of Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Grand counties. The peak is the highest point in Gilpin County and the James Peak Wilderness.

Fossil Ridge Wilderness

The Fossil Ridge Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located approximately 16 miles (26 km) northeast of Gunnison, Colorado in the Gunnison National Forest. The 13,992-acre (56.62 km2) wilderness includes Fossil Ridge, a high, exposed ridge of Paleozoic carbonates that contain epeiric sea fossils. Elevations in the wilderness range from 8,880 feet (2,710 m) at Summerville Creek to 13,254 feet (4,040 m) at the summit of Henry Mountain. Elk, deer, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep can be found in the wilderness.

Raggeds Wilderness

The Raggeds Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located in the Elk Mountains northwest of Crested Butte, Colorado. The 65,393-acre (264.64 km2) wilderness was established in 1980 in the White River and Gunnison National Forests. Elevations in the wilderness range from 6,840 feet (2,080 m) in Dark Canyon to 13,535 feet (4,125 m) at the summit of Treasure Mountain. Nearly 90 miles (140 km) of trails are within the wilderness.

West Elk Wilderness

The West Elk Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located northwest of Gunnison, Colorado in the West Elk Mountains. The wilderness was established in 1964 and now protects 176,412 acres (713.91 km2) within the Gunnison National Forest. Elevations in the wilderness range from 6,800 feet (2,100 m) along Coal Creek to 13,042 feet (3,975 m) at the summit of West Elk Peak. The area supports large elk and deer populations and is busiest during the fall hunting season.

Needle Rock Natural Area

Needle Rock Natural Area is located at the western edge of the West Elk Mountains of Colorado. The surrounding terrain is characterized by laccolithic mountains flanked by precipitous cliffs, extensive talus aprons, forested mesas, canyons, and spacious, well-watered intermontane basins. Needle Rock is an intrusive plug of monzonite porphyry cropping out 3.5 miles (5.6 km) east-northeast of the Town of Crawford in Delta County, Colorado, United States. At an elevation of 7,797 feet (2,377 m), the towering rock spire stands 800 feet (240 m) tall above the floor of the Smith Fork of the Gunnison River valley. The massive rock feature originated in the Oligocene geological epoch when magma intruded between existing sedimentary rocks as the crown of a buried laccolith or possibly the underlying conduit of a laccolith. Subsequent erosion has exposed the prominent rock formation seen in the natural area today.

West Elk Peak

West Elk Peak, elevation 13,042 ft (3,975 m), is the highest summit in the West Elk Mountains of Gunnison County, Colorado. The mountain is in the West Elk Wilderness, northwest of Gunnison. The terrain consists mostly of volcanic breccia, known in this area as West Elk Breccia, dated at 35 to 30 million years old.

Chair Mountain

Chair Mountain is a prominent mountain summit in the Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,727-foot (3,879 m) peak is located in the Raggeds Wilderness of Gunnison National Forest, 5.0 miles (8.1 km) west by south of the Town of Marble in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States.

Marcellina Mountain

Marcellina Mountain is a prominent mountain summit in the West Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 11,353-foot (3,460 m) peak is located in the Raggeds Wilderness of Gunnison National Forest, 15.0 miles (24.1 km) west by north of the Town of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States.

Mount Owen (Colorado)

Mount Owen is the highest summit of the Ruby Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,070-foot (3,984 m) thirteener is located in Gunnison National Forest at the edge of the Raggeds Wilderness, 8.5 miles (13.6 km) west-northwest of the Town of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States.

Baldy Cinco

Baldy Cinco, elevation 13,379 feet, is a mountain in Hinsdale and Mineral counties in southern Colorado. The mountain, a thirteener, is located on the Continental Divide in the San Juan Mountains. Different areas of the slopes of Baldy Cinco lie in the Rio Grande National Forest, the La Garita Wilderness, and the Gunnison National Forest. The mountain is located just north of Snow Mesa and east northeast of Spring Creek Pass.

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 elevation of Treasure Mountain includes an adjustment of +2.008 m (+6.59 ft) from NGVD 29 to NAVD 88.
  2. 1 2 3 "Treasure Mountain, Colorado". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  3. 1 2 "Tri Centennial Thirteeners". Archived from the original on 2013-03-10. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
  4. 1 2 3 "Treasure Mountain". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  5. "Treasury Mountain". Summitpost.org. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  6. "Treasure Mountain, Mineral County". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved 2012-09-15.
  7. "Treasure Mountain A". Summitpost.org. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
  8. 1 2 3 4 McGee, Elaine S. (1999). Colorado Yule Marble - Building Stone of the Lincoln Memorial. Washington: United States Government Printing Office. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 2162.
  9. Vanderwilt, John W. (1937). Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Snowmass Mountain Area Gunnison County, Colorado. Washington: United States Government Printing Office.
  10. Gaskill, DL; Godwin, LH (1966). "Geological map of the Marble Quadrangle, Gunnison and Pitkin Counties, Colorado". USGS. Geological Quadrangle Map GQ-512.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. Vanderwilt, JW; Fuller, HC (1935). "Correlation of Colorado Yule Marble and other early Paleozoic formations on Yule Creek, Gunnison County, Colorado". Colorado Science Society Proceedings. 13 (7): 439–465.
  12. Ogden, Lawrence (1961). Berg, RR; Rold, JW (eds.). "Non-metallic minerals from rocks of lower and middle Paleozoic age". Symposium on Lower and Middle Paleozoic Rocks of Colorado, Twelfth Field Conference. Denver: Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists: 190–194.
  13. 1 2 3 4 Motter, John. "Where's the French Treasure?". Pagosa Sun. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
  14. 1 2 3 Bancroft, Caroline; Nafziger, Agnes (1961). Colorado's Lost Gold Mines and Buried Treasure. Big Earth Publishing. p. 35. ISBN   0933472161.
  15. Walker, Johnny. "Treasure Mountain". Heritage and History, Colorado Adventure Guide. Archived from the original on 2012-08-14. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
  16. Adams, Maynard Cornet. Treasure Mountain.
  17. Jameson, W. C. (2001). Colorado Treasure Tales. Caxton Press. p. 127. ISBN   0870044028.

Further reading

  • Adams, Maynard Cornet. Citadel Mountain III - 1885-1920. Fort Lupton, Colorado: MCA Books.
  • Mutschler, Felix E. (1968). Geology of the Treasure Mountain Dome, Gunnison County, Colorado. University of Colorado. p. 13. Thesis.