Category:Valleys of Colorado
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Pages in category "Valleys of Colorado"
The following 18 pages are in this category, out of 18 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Valleys of Colorado.|
The following 18 pages are in this category, out of 18 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Browns Park – Browns Park, originally called Browns Hole, is an isolated mountain valley along the Green River in Moffat County, Colorado and Daggett County, Utah in the United States. Known as a haven for such as Butch Cassidy and Tom Horn during the late 19th century. It was also the birthplace of Ann Bassett and she and her sister Josie Bassett, were considered female outlaws and girlfriends to several of Cassidys Wild Bunch gang. In the early 19th century, when the Euro-Americans first entered the area, the area was inhabited by Comanche, Shoshoni, Blackfoot, Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Navaho tribes also visited or used the area. The use of the area by Native Americans was documented by the 1776 Dominguez-Escalante Expedition and by the 1805 Lewis, in the 1830s the valley became a favorite location for fur trappers and settlers. In 1837 Fort Davy Crockett was constructed as a trading post, the fort was abandoned in the 1840s and the population of settlers declined. After the discovery of gold in California in 1848, the valley emerged among ranchers as a wintering ground for cattle. By the 1860s it had acquired a reputation as haven for cattle rustlers, horse thieves, during its outlaw heyday, the Browns Park ethic allowed for most outlaw deeds except murder. Butch Cassidy reportedly acquired his nickname while working for a local rancher, in 1965 the valley became part of the Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge, designated as a habitat for migratory waterfowl. The refuge contains the remains of historic sites, including Two Bar Ranch headquarters, Fort Davy Crockett, Lodore Hall
2. Colorado Piedmont – The Colorado Piedmont is an area along the base of the foothills of the Front Range in north central Colorado in the United States. The region includes much of the populated and cultivated area of Colorado, the name Colorado Piedmont also refers to the physiographic section of the Great Plains province. The Colorado Piedmont elevation is lower than the foothills, but is slightly lower elevation than the High Plains to the east. This uplift resulted in increased streamflow and rapid erosion on the side of the Rocky Mountains. It was during this time that the South Platte River, which had previously flowed eastward across the Plains, the drop off from the Plains to the Piedmont is noticeable to motorists driving southward from Cheyenne, Wyoming on Interstate 25. The transition from High Plains to Piedmont is likewise accompanied by a change in agriculture, in the 19th century, the Piedmont region was inhabited primarily by the Southern Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes. From the earliest time of settlement in the middle 19th century. The region was not widely settled in the early Colorado Territory, the use of irrigation in the Piedmont starting in the 1860s led to widespread homesteading and cultivation of wheat and sugar beets, as well as cattle and sheep ranching. Much of the water in the Piedmont comes from shallow wells that tap the layers of Pleistocene gravel. Water diversion projects, locally from the Cache la Poudre and other rivers, as well as the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, roadside Geology of Colorado, Halka, Chronic, Mountain Press Publishing,1980
3. Grand Valley (Colorado-Utah) – The Grand Valley is an extended populated valley, approximately 30 miles long and 5 miles wide, located along the Colorado River in Mesa County, Colorado and Grand County, Utah in the United States. The valley contains the city of Grand Junction, as well as smaller communities such as Fruita. The valley is noted as a fruit growing region, with a large number of orchards. It takes its name from the Grand River, the name of the Colorado River upstream from its confluence with the Green River that was used by locals in the late 19th. Interstate 70 and U. S. Highway 6 run through the valley from west-to-east, the Grand Valley is part of the larger Colorado Plateau desert lands. The valley begins where the Colorado River widens at the mouth of De Beque Canyon to the east of Palisade, the Colorado receives the Gunnison River, one of its major tributaries, just south of Grand Junction near the midpoint of the valley. The valley is surrounded by large formations, including the Bookcliffs along the north side, the Grand Mesa along the southeast side. Colorado National Monument sits on a ridge on the southwest side of the valley west of Grand Junction, much of the surrounding table land areas rimming the valley are public lands controlled by the Bureau of Land Management. The valley was an area occupied by the Ute people. White settlers began to arrive in the 1880s, farming the valley for a variety of grains, in the 1890s, it was discovered that sugar beets grown in the valley had a high sugar content, leading to widespread cultivation of that crop. At the turn of the 20th century, evaporation techniques allowed fruit growers to ship their products more efficiently to distant markets, in 1918, the Government_Highline_Canal was completed to provide water to cultivate 50,000 acres in the valley. The project included a dam in De Beque Canyon, the largest of three such dams of this type in the nation. According to local legend, the valley was cursed by the native Utes upon their forced exodus to federal reservation grounds in Utah, the sand is supposed to alleviate the curses effects of a supernatural and metaphysical attraction by the valleys soil to the native individual. Of course, this is a myth and cannot be confirmed, however, many exiting locals, native and non-native alike, prefer not to take their chances with the alleged curse and keep the sand long after emigrating from the valley
4. Kawuneeche Valley – Kawuneeche Valley, also known as Kawuneeche or Coyote Valley, is a marshy valley of the Colorado River near its beginning. It is located on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the axis of the valley runs almost directly north to south. Kawuneeche means valley of the coyote in Arapaho language and there is a Coyote Valley Trail head by US Route 34 in the half of the park. Coyotes still live here, as do wapiti, mule deer, moose, along the main part of valley runs the lower section of the Trail Ridge Road - the highest continuous paved road in the United States. The construction of the a water diversion canal called Grand Ditch between the 1890s and 1930s reduced the water table and limited the frequency and magnitude of the floods in the Kawuneeche Valley. In addition, Grand Ditch breached its bank on May 30,2003, the Grand Ditch owner - the Water Supply and Storage Company was ordered to pay $9 million settlement to the Rocky Mountain National Park. It was the largest natural resource damages payment in the history of the Park System Resource Protection Act, Grand Ditch exerts also negative aesthetic impact on the Kawuneeche. Elk was reintroduced to its old stomping grounds in the Colorado River Valley in the mid-1910s and this solitary species wanders alone moving south from Wyoming or east from Utah. And such moose probably account for sightings and kills in Colorado between the 1860s and 1960s and this is an ecological innovation driven largely by state game officials to attract sportsmen and tourists. However, moose are known to undergo dramatic population cycles, which, in combination with European settlement, populations were known in southern Wyomings Medicine Bow Mountains. In 1978 and 1979,4 bulls,13 cows,4 yearlings, all radio collared,12 each year. And today Kawuneeche Valley is a prime habitat, although sightings frequently occur even further, east of the Continental Divide. Large herbivores have become so numerous in the Kawuneeche Valley, that cause significant harm to the willow thickets and other plants. Elk is overpopulated, but rarer moose more specialized -91. 3% of its summer diets consist of six willow species and this is accompanied by drought and the proliferation of a native fungus spread by a bird called the sapsucker. The primary fungus species is Grosmannia clavigera, but Ophiostoma is also present, the fungi kill the stems above the wells drilled by sapsuckers. All these factors weaken the ability of the valley’s willows to generate new growth, their communities have declined, the most important bark beetle species in the Kawuneeche Valley are mountain pine beetle and spruce beetle. In recent years, these species have devastated forests on the side of Rocky Mountain National Park. They were abandoned after a few years of the mining boom
5. Middle Park (Colorado basin) – Middle Park is a high basin in the Rocky Mountains of north-central Colorado in the United States. It is located in Grand County, on the southwest slope of Rocky Mountain National Park, the basin surrounds the headwaters of the Colorado River on the west side of the Front Range. It extends southwestward from the source of the Colorado at Grand Lake, downstream past Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs, Parshall and it terminates on the western end roughly where the Colorado passes Gore Canyon at the southern end of the Gore Range. The valley also extends into the valleys of side tributaries on the upper Colorado such as the Fraser River, Williams Fork. The valley of the Fraser contains the towns of Fraser and Winter Park, the valley receives its name from being the middle of the three large mountain valleys in Colorado on the western side of the Front Range. The other two are North Park and South Park, U. S. Highway 34 traverses the valley from the northeast to the southwest, and connects to U. S. Highway 40 at Granby. North Park, to the north, is drained by the North Platte River and separated from the valley by low passes, Muddy Pass. The passes on the east and south, connect to the basin of the South Platte River and they are both in the Front Range proper and thus are higher and more likely to be snow covered. Milner Pass is near the point on Trail Ridge Road and is open only during summer months. Berthoud Pass, at the headwaters of the Fraser south of Winter Park and this latter route is the most direct route between the valley and Denver. The valley contains several reservoirs on the Colorado and its tributaries, including Lake Granby, the main industry in the valley is tourism, including alpine skiing at Winter Park Ski Resort. Much traffic between Denver and the resort of Steamboat Springs passes through the valley as well, allowing for secondary tourism industries to proliferate in the smaller towns
6. North Park (Colorado basin) – North Park is a high, sparsely populated basin in the Rocky Mountains in north central Colorado in the United States. The valley receives its name from being the northernmost of the three mountain valleys in Colorado on the western side of the Front Range. The others are Middle Park and South Park respectively, the basin opens out northward into Wyoming, in the direction of flow of the North Platte. On the east side, it is rimmed by the Medicine Bow Mountains, the Never Summer Mountains and Rabbit Ears Range to the south, the continental divide rims the Park along the south and west. The primary economic activities in the valley are cattle ranching and timber harvesting, the largest community in the valley is Walden, the Jackson County seat, that sits near the middle of the valley near the confluence of the Michigan and Illinois rivers. Smaller communities in the include the unincorporated hamlets of Gould. The valley is crossed east-west by State Highway 14, which enters from the east over Cameron Pass, providing a link to the Poudre Canyon and Fort Collins. Highway 14 enters from the west over Muddy Pass which provides access to Steamboat Springs and it is crossed north-south by State Highway 125, which enters from the north along the course of the North Platte. It enters from the south over Willow Creek Pass, providing access to the end of Middle Park near Granby. The valley along the Illinois River is the location of the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, the valley floor is underlain by Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks that form a structural basin. The stratigraphy is similar to that in adjacent basins such as the Green River Basin to the west, petroleum has long been produced from anticlinal traps of the Muddy Sandstone at North McCallum and South McCallum oil fields. In 2007, North Park produced 96 thousand barrels of oil and 1.3 billion cubic feet of gas from 153 wells. In 2008 EOG Resources announced great success in drilling and completing horizontal oil wells in the Cretaceous Niobrara Formation, map from North Park-Medicine Bow Mountains Project, USGS Walden/North Park Chamber of Commerce Colorado Historical Society
7. Paradox Valley – Paradox Valley is a basin located in Montrose County in the U. S. state of Colorado. The dry, sparsely populated valley is named after the apparently paradoxical course of the Dolores River—instead of flowing down the length of the valley, Paradox Valley trends northwest-southeast and measures about 3 to 5 miles wide and 25 miles long. It lies along the western edge of Colorado, about 50 miles south of the city of Grand Junction. The La Sal Range of Utah rises in the northwest, state Highway 90 follows Paradox Valley on its way from Naturita to the Utah state line, crossing the historic Dolores River Bridge near the small unincorporated town of Bedrock. The town of Paradox lies a few north of the highway. Elevations on the valley range from about 5,000 feet at the Dolores River to nearly 6,000 feet at the southeast end. Steep parallel sandstone and shale walls bound the valley to the northeast and southwest, the valley was named in 1875 by geologist and surveyor Albert Charles Peale, after he noted that the Dolores River had a desire to perform strange and unexpected things in the area. Instead of flowing down the valley, the river emerges from a gap in one wall, cuts perpendicularly across the middle. Average lows range from 13 °F in December to 54 °F in July, an average of 11 inches of precipitation, including 9 inches of snow, fall annually at Bedrock. The apparent paradox of Paradox Valley can be explained by salt tectonics, the valley is a collapsed anticline, a type of geological fold. About 300 million years ago, during the middle Pennsylvanian period, the salt encountered a buried fault-block ridge and was deflected upwards, penetrating the overlying rock strata and forming a salt dome. This process took place over about 150 million years, a long time for the Dolores River to downcut into the land. The same process created the Moab Valley to the west. The Paradox Formation, a formation containing salt, gypsum, anhydrite, shale, sandstone. The Paradox Basin, a geologic province throughout which the Paradox Formation is found, Paradox Valley was within the historical domain of the Ute tribe. An 1868 treaty created a reservation for the Utes over much of western Colorado, squatters began grazing cattle in the valley as early as 1877, in violation of the treaty. By 1881, the Utes had been forced out of the area, the valley and the surrounding plateau would soon become an important source of radioactive materials, including radium and uranium. In 1913, the New York Times identified carnotite mines near Paradox Valley as the source of the greatest radium ore deposits in the world
8. Roaring Fork Valley – The Roaring Fork Valley is a geographical region in western Colorado in the United States. The Roaring Fork Valley is one of the most affluent regions in Colorado, the Valley is defined by the valley of the Roaring Fork River and its tributaries, including the Crystal and Fryingpan River. It includes the communities of Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt, Carbondale, mount Sopris and the Roaring Fork River serve as symbols of the Roaring Fork Valley. The valley was inhabited by the Ute people prior to the coming of the first U. S. settlers over Independence Pass in 1879, the first settlers were prospectors looking for silver in the wake of the Colorado Silver Boom in nearby Leadville. Aspen flourished as a community in the late 1880s and early 1890s until the silver crash of 1893. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, coal mining in the valley of the Crystal emerged as an important extractive industry, the Roaring Fork Valley is part of the larger Roaring Fork Watershed, which includes the Fryingpan and Crystal River valleys. It is surrounded by mountains on all sides, in particular on its southwest edge by the high Elk Mountains that are location of the popular Aspen/Snowmass ski resorts. The upper end of the valley is called the Aspen Valley. Mount Sopris dominates the end of the valley and serves as an unofficial symbol of the region. Many think the Roaring Fork River, from which the valley was named, is the symbol of the region. The fragmented structure is in contrast to the nearby Eagle Valley, Roaring Fork Conservancy works on river and water issues across these lines and the Roaring Fork Watershed Collaborative works to address regional issues in this geographic area. Although skiing forms the foundation of the economy, other activities increasingly contribute to visitor numbers, although the valley floor is largely privately owned, most of the surrounding highlands are within the White River National Forest and are another major source of recreation and tourism. Agriculture, principally livestock raising, plays a moderate and declining role in the valleys economy. However, the ranches that still cover large parts of the lower valley contribute to tourism as well through their beauty, potato cultivation has historically been important in the lower valley, but is virtually nonexistent at present. The valley has one of the most rapidly growing areas of Colorado in recent years, not only in the vicinity of Aspen. Many employees in Glenwood Springs live further down the Colorado river due to the acute lack of affordable housing. State Highway 82 serves as the transportation artery of the valley. The once rural character of much of the valley has been replaced with continuous development linking the regions four main cities
9. San Luis Valley – The valley is a section of the Rio Grande Rift and is drained to the south by the Rio Grande, which rises in the San Juan Mountains to the west of the valley and flows south into New Mexico. The valley is approximately 122 miles long and 74 miles wide, the San Luis Valley receives little precipitation and is made up of desert lands, but the temperatures can be very comfortable in the summer and very cold on winter nights. The San Luis Valley is the broad, generally flat, valley at the headwaters of the Rio Grande in south central Colorado, the northern portion of the San Luis Valley is an endorheic basin, which is to say that surface water does not exit this area. The southern portion is drained by the Rio Grande, there is no clear southern boundary but the term is generally used to include the San Luis Hills of southern Colorado and the Taos Plateau of northern New Mexico. About 50 miles from east to west and about 150 miles from north to south, within Colorado the San Luis Valley is generally considered to comprise six Colorado counties, Saguache, Alamosa, Rio Grande, Conejos, Costilla and Mineral. A few other counties of Colorado have some land in the Rio Grande Basin including Archuleta County, Hinsdale County, Blanca Peak is prominent in the Sierra Blanca at the southern end of the northernmost section of the mountains, which is known as the Sangre de Cristo Range. There are several passes, with elevations between 9,000 and 10,000 feet, giving access to the valley. North La Veta Pass, through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is used by U. S. Highway 160 and by the San Luis, other passes used historically were Medano, Mosca and Sangre de Cristo Passes. The Great Sand Dunes is a feature of the valley. It lies directly to the west of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the dunes can reach 750 feet high. The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is now in place to both the dunes and the numerous archeological sites found in the area. The natural valley aquifer is close to the surface in part of the valley. Elevation rises as you go north in the valley to Poncha Pass, used now by U. S. Highway 285 and historically by the narrow tracks of the Denver. Cumbres Pass is a 10,015 ft. pass between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico, the pass is traversed by State Highway 17 and the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. Stony Pass, sometimes spelled Stoney Pass, a wagon road to the mining camps of the San Juans, is now a jeep trail. At the north end of the valley, North Pass is the route of State Highway 114 between Saguache, Colorado and Gunnison, Colorado, bypassing the route over Cochetopa Pass. The Rio Grande follows a course through the valley from Del Norte southeastward via Alamosa to New Mexico. South of Alamosa it is joined by several streams from the west including the Alamosa River, most of the northern valley is an endorheic basin called the San Luis Closed Basin
10. South Park (Park County, Colorado) – South Park is a grassland flat within the basin formed by the Rocky Mountains Mosquito and Park Mountain Ranges at approximately 10,000 ft in elevation within central Colorado. It encompasses approximately 1,000 square miles around the headwaters of the South Platte River in Park County approximately 60 mi southwest of Denver. It is the largest and southernmost of three similarly named high altitude basins in the Front Range of Colorado, the others being North Park, the largest town in the basin is Fairplay, with a population of 681. The Mosquito Range forms a barrier along the western side of the valley. The long-extinct Thirty-Nine Mile volcanic field is located just to the southeast, the valley is mostly underlain by Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks concealed by a thin layer of gravel laid down by glaciation during Pleistocene time. The underlying rocks are dipping slightly to the east, the eastern side of the valley is underlain primarily by Pierre Shale laid down during Cretaceous time. The western side of the valley, on the west side of Red Hill, is primarily by Permian and Pennsylvanian rocks. Red Hill runs through the center of the valley as a ridge of tilted Cretaceous. Gold mining in South Park began in 1859, extensive placer deposits were mined along the west side of the park, and lode deposits were mined in the Mosquito Range. The extensive gravel ridges east of Fairplay are the result of dredging for gold, a minor amount of uranium has been mined from sandstone in South Park. The valley is traversed by several highways, including U. S. Highway 285, the highway crosses Red Hill at Red Hill Pass. On its northern side, the valley is connected by high mountain passes to the valley of the North Fork of the South Platte River. It is also connected by CO Route 9 via Hoosier Pass to the valley to the Blue River near Breckenridge, to the west, the extremely high Mosquito Pass crosses the Mosquito Range to Leadville. On its southwestern side, at the end of the Mosquito Range. U. S. Highway 24 enters South Park from the east at Wilkerson Pass, to the very south, CO Route 9 crosses Currant Creek Pass, which marks the southern edge of the South Park region. Like much of the areas of Colorado, the valley was inhabited by Utes before the arrival of white settlers in the middle 19th century. It was explored by John C, fremont during his second expedition in 1844, at which time it was referred to as Bayou Salade, a corruption of Spanish Valle Salado, meaning salty valley. In 1859 the discovery of gold in the streams of the valley during the Colorado Gold Rush led to an influx of prospectors and miners
11. 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
12. Yankee Boy Basin – Yankee Boy Basin is an alpine basin in Ouray County, Colorado in the United States and is located in the Uncompahgre National Forest. It is well renowned for its display of wildflowers during the spring, access is provided by a dirt four wheel drive road which branches off the Ouray County road that runs from Ouray to Camp Bird Mine. The road starts a mile south of Ouray, passes a DOT site. Along the way are several primitive campgrounds that tend to be rarely visited and these encourage collecting dead-and-down firewood, though, which occasionally brings locals and people visiting other campgrounds. In general, though, the area is fairly private, in the San Juan region of the Rocky Mountains, Yankee Boy Basin is a good place to see wildlife, including, deer, black bears, birds of prey and more. Chief Ouray Ouray, Colorado Ouray County, Colorado Uncompahgre National Forest Yankee Boy Basin - GORP Yankee Boy Basin