View of Wet Mountain Valley, west of mountain range
|Elevation||3,763 m (12,346 ft)|
|Length||20 mi (32 km)Nw-SE|
|Native name||Sierra Mojada (Spanish)|
|Counties||Custer and Pueblo|
|Parent range||Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Rocky Mountains|
The Wet Mountains are a small mountain range in southern Colorado, named for the amount of snow they receive in the winter. They are a sub-range of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, in the southern Rocky Mountains System. There are three variant names of mountain range: Cuerno Verde, Greenhorn Mountains, and Sierra Mojada.
Most of the Wet Mountains range is within Custer County. Greenhorn Peak and part of the range are in Huerfano County and Pueblo County. The range runs approximately from U.S. Highway 50 to Walsenburg.
The tallest point is known as Greenhorn Mountain, which has multiple peaks, the highest of which reaches 12,346 feet (3,763 m). Greenhorn Peak, St. Charles Peak, and North Peak all reach above tree line. The range provides the eastern boundary of the Wet Mountain Valley, bordered on the west by the Sangre de Cristos.
The adjacent Wet Mountain Valley contains the small towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff. Within the mountains, Highway 96 weaves its way down to Wetmore by way of Hardscrabble Canyon and is one of only three main exits from the valley. The only other highway in the range is Highway 165, which travels through the range to Rye and Colorado City, and can also be noted for Lake Isabel and Bishop's Castle.
Other towns/communities in the small range include Beulah and Rosita, which is now a ghost town after a period of gold and silver mining over the past two centuries.
The summit of SH 96 in Hardscrabble Canyon has no official name, but is known locally as Hardscrabble Pass, elevation 9085 ft (2769 m). Its broad saddle is just east of Silver Cliff. The summit of SH 165 is Bigelow Divide, elevation 9403 ft (2866 m), near Ophir Creek Campground. The intersection of the two highways, between Silver Cliff and Wetmore, is McKenzie Junction, elevation 8359 ft. The gravel road that connects SH 78 from Beulah to SH 165 is known locally as Bathtub Pass, for a discarded roadside clawfoot bathtub.
The Wet Mountains are the east flank of an uplifted faulted anticline. The core of the range consists of Precambrian granitic rocks with Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata in fault contact around the southern end and in the northwest.The range lies on the southeast end of the Central Colorado volcanic field and contains Eocene to Oligocene (38–29 Ma) volcanic rocks and carbonatites.
The San Luis Valley is a region in south-central Colorado with a small portion overlapping into New Mexico. The Rio Grande with headwaters in the San Juan Mountains about seven miles east of Silverton, Colorado flows through the San Luis Valley and then south into New Mexico. It contains 6 counties and portions of 3 others. The San Luis Valley was ceded to the United States by Mexico following the Mexican–American War. Hispanic settlers began moving north and settling in the valley after the United States made a treaty with the Utes and established a fort. Prior to the Mexican war the Spanish and Mexican governments had reserved the valley to the Utes, their allies. During the 19th century Anglo settlers settled in the valley and engaged in mining, ranching, and irrigated agriculture. Today the valley has a diverse Anglo and Hispanic population.
The Sangre de Cristo Range is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in southern Colorado in the United States, running north and south along the east side of the Rio Grande Rift. The mountains extend southeast from Poncha Pass for about 75 mi (121 km) through south-central Colorado to La Veta Pass, approximately 20 mi (32 km) west of Walsenburg, and form a high ridge separating the San Luis Valley on the west from the watershed of the Arkansas River on the east. The Sangre de Cristo Range rises over 7,000 ft (2,100 m) above the valleys and plains to the west and northeast.
Custer County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,255. The county seat is Westcliffe.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is an American national park that conserves an area of large sand dunes up to 750 feet (229 m) tall on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, and an adjacent national preserve in the Sangre de Cristo Range, in south-central Colorado, United States. The park was originally designated Great Sand Dunes National Monument on March 17, 1932, by President Herbert Hoover. The original boundaries protected an area of 35,528 acres. A boundary change and redesignation as a national park and preserve was authorized on November 22, 2000, and then established by an act of Congress on September 24, 2004. The park encompasses 107,342 acres while the preserve protects an additional 41,686 acres for a total of 149,028 acres. The recreational visitor total was 527,546 in 2019.
The Colorado Plateau, also known as the Colorado Plateau Province, is a physiographic and desert region of the Intermontane Plateaus, roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. This province covers an area of 336,700 km2 (130,000 mi2) within western Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, southern and eastern Utah, northern Arizona, and a tiny fraction in the extreme southeast of Nevada. About 90% of the area is drained by the Colorado River and its main tributaries: the Green, San Juan, and Little Colorado. Most of the remainder of the plateau is drained by the Rio Grande and its tributaries.
The Wet Mountain Valley is a high elevation mountain valley located in Custer County, in south-central Colorado.
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains. They are located in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico in the United States. The mountains run from Poncha Pass in South-Central Colorado, trending southeast and south, ending at Glorieta Pass, southeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The mountains contain a number of fourteen thousand foot peaks in the Colorado portion, as well as all the peaks in New Mexico which are over thirteen thousand feet.
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.
Crestone Peak is the seventh-highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The prominent 14,300-foot (4,359 m) fourteener is the highest summit of the Crestones and the second-highest summit in the Sangre de Cristo Range after Blanca Peak. The summit is located in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness of Rio Grande National Forest, 5.0 miles (8.1 km) east by south of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States.
The Sierra Nacimiento, or Nacimiento Mountains, are a mountain range in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of New Mexico. They are just west of the more prominent Jemez Mountains near the town of Cuba, and are separated from them by the Río Guadalupe and the Río de Las Vacas. This article will consider them as a unit together with the San Pedro Mountains, which are a smaller range contiguous with the Sierra Nacimiento on the north, and which are also part of the Nacimiento Uplift and lie at the edge of the greater San Juan Basin, which sits atop the Colorado Plateau. The combined range runs almost due north-south with a length of about 40 mi (65 km). The highest point in the combined range is the high point of the San Pedro Peaks, known unofficially as San Pedro Peak, 10,605 ft.
State Highway 96 (SH 96) is a state highway in eastern Colorado. Its western terminus is an intersection with SH 69 in Westcliffe. Its eastern terminus is at the Kansas state line, east of Towner, where it continues as K-96.
Kit Carson Peak is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. Officially designated Kit Carson Mountain, the 14,171-foot (4,319 m) fourteener is located 5.2 miles (8.4 km) east by south of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States. The name Kit Carson Mountain is used for both the massif with three summits, or to describe the main summit only. The mountain is named in honor of frontiersman Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson. The Crestones are a cluster of high summits in the Sangre de Cristo Range, comprising Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point, Humboldt Peak, and Columbia Point. They are usually accessed from common trailheads.
Greenhorn Mountain is the highest summit of the Wet Mountains range in the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent 12,352-foot (3,765 m) peak is located in the Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, 5.2 miles (8.4 km) southwest by west of the Town of Rye, Colorado, United States, on the boundary between Huerfano and Pueblo counties. The summit of Greenhorn Mountain is the highest point in Pueblo County, Colorado. The peak's summit rises above timberline, which is about 11,500 feet (3,500 m) in south-central Colorado.
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.
The Flat Tops is a mountain range located in Colorado within the Routt and White River National Forests. Much of the range is within the boundary of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. While there are notable peaks in the Flat Tops, the dominant feature of the range is the high plateau from which the peaks arise. The plateau forms the northeastern portion of the White River Uplift capped by horizontal basalt flows from tertiary volcanic activity and is bounded by steep drops to valleys carved out by subsequent glaciation. The resulting mix of areas of treeless plateau at an elevation of 11,000 to 12,000 feet interspersed with verdant valleys is unique among Colorado mountain ranges. The area contains approximately one hundred and ten ponds and lakes and is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including many large mammals such as moose, elk, mule deer, black bear, and cougars. This area has been affected by the non-native plant species, yellow toadflax. The most common trees are Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir and lodgepole pine, with aspen groves at lower elevations. The top of the plateau is alpine tundra.
Fort Le Duc or Fort LeDuc was a square fort and trading post built near Wetmore, Colorado. It was named after trapper Maurice LeDuc or Maurice LeDoux, and constructed around 1830 or 1835.
The Toroweap Fault of northwest Arizona and southwest Utah is part of a fault system of the west Grand Canyon region, Arizona, USA; also the west perimeter regions of the Coconino and Colorado Plateaus. The Hurricane Fault originates at the Toroweap Fault, in the region of the Colorado River, and strikes as the westerly depression of the Toroweap Fault. The Toroweap strikes northerly from the Colorado at the east of Toroweap Valley, and enters south Utah; from the Colorado River, the Hurricane Fault strikes north-northwest along the west flank of the small, regional Uinkaret Mountains, the west border of Toroweap Valley. The Hurricane Fault, and the Hurricane Cliffs strike into southwest Utah as part of the west, and southwest perimeter of the Colorado Plateau. The Hurricane Cliffs are made of Kaibab Limestone, an erosion resistant, cliff-forming rock unit.
The Peacock Mountains are a small, 26-mi (42 km) long mountain range in northwest Arizona, USA. The range is a narrow sub-range, and an extension north, at the northeast of the Hualapai Mountains massif, which lies to the southwest. The range is defined by the Hualapai Valley to the northwest, and north and south-flowing washes on its east border, associated with faults and cliffs; the Cottonwood Cliffs are due east, and are connected to the Aquarius Cliffs southward at the west perimeter of the Aquarius Mountains; the cliffs are a result of the Aquarius Fault, which is an extension southward from the Grand Wash Cliffs and Grand Wash Fault which crosses the Colorado River at Lake Mead, and the west perimeter of the Grand Canyon/Colorado Plateau.