Category:Landforms of Custer County, Colorado
This category has the following 2 subcategories, out of 2 total.
This category has the following 2 subcategories, out of 2 total.
1. Hardscrabble Pass – Hardscrabble Pass is a mountain pass in South-Central Colorado. It lies between the Wet Mountain Valley to the west and the valley of the Arkansas River to the east, the pass traverses the Wet Mountains. State Highway 96 runs over the pass, linking the towns of Wetmore to the east, the pass forms part of the Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway. Hardscrabble Pass goes through the San Isabel National Forest
2. Sangre de Cristo Mountains – 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, the name of the mountains may refer to the occasional reddish hues observed during sunrise and sunset, and when alpenglow occurs, especially when the mountains are covered with snow. Although the particular origin of the name is unclear, it has been in use since the early 19th century, before that time the terms La Sierra Nevada, La Sierra Madre, La Sierra, and The Snowies were used. According to tradition, sangre de Cristo were the last words of a Catholic priest who was killed by Indians, sometimes the archaic Spanish spelling Christo is used. Much of the mountains are within various National Forests, the Rio Grande and San Isabel in Colorado, and these publicly accessible areas are popular for hunting, camping, hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, climbing, and cross-country and downhill skiing. The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve lies on the southwest side of the mountains in Colorado, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are divided into various subranges, described here from north to south. They form a ridge separating the San Luis Valley on the west from the watershed of the Arkansas River on the east. The Crestones are a group of four 14, 000+ foot peaks in the Sangre de Cristo Range above Crestone, Colorado. The Spanish Peaks are a pair of mountains, West Spanish Peak,13,626 feet/4,153 m. The Spanish Peaks were designated a National Natural Landmark in 1976 as one of the best known examples of igneous dikes. The mountains can be seen as far north as Colorado Springs, as far west as Alamosa, points south to Raton, New Mexico, and points east to La Junta, Colorado. The Culebra Range runs almost due north and south, with its limit at La Veta Pass in Colorado. Its highest point is Culebra Peak, which is notable for being the only fourteener in Colorado which is on private land, climbers wishing to ascend Culebra must pay a fee, and the number of climbers per year is limited. Standing to the east of the main crest are the two prominent Spanish Peaks, unlike the rest of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, these are volcanic, with conical shapes and prominent dikes radiating outward. These peaks were important landmarks on the branch of the Santa Fe Trail. The Taos Mountains span the western lobe of the range from Costilla Creek in the north and they include the highest point in New Mexico, Wheeler Peak 13,161 feet, which is part of the small Wheeler Peak Wilderness. Other notable peaks include Pueblo Peak 12,305 feet, which rises dramatically above Taos Pueblo, williams Lake is located below Wheeler Peak in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness
3. Sangre de Cristo Range – The Sangre de Cristo Range rises over 7,000 feet above the valleys and plains to the west and northeast. According to the USGS, the range is the part of the larger Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Usage of the terms Sangre de Cristo Range and Sangre de Cristo Mountains is varied, however, most of the range is shared by two National Forests, which abut along the range divide. Most of the northeast side is located within the San Isabel National Forest, the central part of the range is designated as the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. The Great Sand Dunes National Park sits on the flank of the range at the edge of the San Luis Valley. The range divide is traversed by no paved roads, only by four wheel drive and foot trails over Hayden Pass, Hermit Pass, Music Pass, Medano Pass, and Mosca Pass. The highest peak in the range, located in the south, is Blanca Peak, other well-known peaks are the fourteeners of the Crestone group, Kit Carson Mountain, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, and Humboldt Peak. Two sub-peaks of Kit Carson Mountain, Challenger Point and Columbia Point, are named in memory of the crews of the Space Shuttle Challenger, the range is also home to many high peaks in the 13,000 to 14,000 foot range. See the Sangre de Cristo Mountains article for other noteworthy summits in the greater range, in 1719 the Spanish explorer Antonio Valverde y Cosio named the Sangre de Cristo mountains after being impressed by the reddish hue of the snowy peaks at sunrise, alpenglow. Today tourism is the economic activity. The Sangre de Cristos are fault-block mountains similar to the Teton Range in Wyoming, there are major fault lines running along both the east and west sides of the range and, in places, cutting through the range. The mountains were pushed up around 5 million years ago, basically as one mass of rock. The Sangre de Cristo range is still being uplifted today as faults in the area remain active, on the west side is the San Luis Valley, a portion of the Rio Grande Rift. On the southeast side is the Raton Basin, a quiet and these sedimentary rocks originated as sediment eroded from the Ancestral Rocky Mountains
4. Wet Mountain Valley – The Wet Mountain Valley is a high elevation mountain valley located in Custer County, in south-central Colorado. The Wet Mountain Valley is nestled beneath the biologically diverse Wet Mountains on the east, both mountain ranges are in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains System of the Southern Rocky Mountains. The towns in the valley are Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, which are at an elevation of just under 8,000 feet, the area is known for its historical ranches and excellent hay production
5. Wet 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. 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 towns of Westcliffe. Within the mountains, Highway 96 weaves its way down to Wetmore by way of Hardscrabble Canyon and is one of 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 Bishops Castle. Other towns/communities in the range include Beulah and Rosita, which is now a ghost town after a period of gold. The summit of SH96 in Hardscrabble Canyon has no official name and its broad saddle is just east of Silver Cliff. The summit of SH165 is Bigelow Divide, elevation 9403 ft, the intersection of the two highways, between Silver Cliff and Wetmore, is McKenzie Junction, elevation 8359 ft. The gravel road that connects SH78 from Beulah to SH165 is known locally as Bathtub Pass, the Wet Mountains are the east flank of an uplifted faulted anticline. The core of the consists of Precambrian granitic rocks with Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata in fault contact around the southern end. The range lies on the southeast end of the Central Colorado volcanic field, list of articles on Sangre de Cristo Mountains Mountain ranges of Colorado