For the mountain biker : 2 mountain bike loops offer a great opportunity to see the area.
The B-loop is best for the beginner, while the A-loop is more fun for an advanced rider. Each route is less than three miles, and can also be hiked.
Stop at the Cash Store, an old log cabin turned general shop. Make your return trip via Del Norte. Consider a stop by the Rio Grande County Museum for more about the local heritage and make a note to ask about Colonel Pfeiffer, a well know and respected Indian Agent! Download a detailed map of the area.
When you reach the summit, just past the Wolf Creek Ski area, you will be on top of the Continental Divide. Note this road is occasionally closed to all but hikers and bikers. A steep 5. To the south you see Treasure Mountain, an area rich in folklore and stories of buried treasure. One legend suggests a chest of gold was buried on the mountain by soon-to-be-captured Frenchmen running from either Spaniards or Native Utes. If you are feeling extra ambitious, a hike around the area might result in a huge payout!
To the far southeast is the Summitville mining district another great day trip, though 4x4 is required. To the northwest lies the Weminuche Wilderness, the largest wilderness area in Colorado. Return to the highway and prepare yourself for a dramatic experience, despite the major US Highway you are traveling on.
Wintertime brings this area the MOST snow in Colorado , so roads are often snow-packed and icy in the winter months. Even summertime sees the occasional snow! As you descend into the valley, stop at the scenic overlook just before the hairpin turns. A couple of switchbacks later, and you will want to pull over again.
Treasure Falls is a beautiful cascade that runs nearly all year, dropping grandly across the face of a rough volcanic cliff.
A large parking area marks the entrance to the hiking path that leads to the base of the falls. The remaining drive into Pagosa Springs is easy and pleasant, leading you through a scenic valley of large ranches and farmland. Pagosa Springs is known for its year-round arts and music festivals.
Here, the roads are public, and anyone with a permit can park at the public beach. Tiffany removes tweet showing model Sun Feifei covering one eye after Chinese consumers accused the jeweller There is a stone deck below that has an outdoor gas fire pit and is partially covered to get away from the mountain elements. The fresh mountain air and expansive spaces allow your senses to relax and absorb new sensations. Kick back on the plush couch and turn on the flat-screen TV to enjoy your favorite shows. We offer guide service in Montana and Yellowstone National Park and our friendly guides are committed to providing you with a great fly fishing experience on the world class fisheries surrounding West Yellowstone.
A lively downtown offers several great dining choices and lots of shopping! Check visitpagosasprings. Your final, and ultimate destination will be the Springs Resort. With 23 hot tubs filled with natural hot springs mineral water, you will find relaxation and adventure as you travel from tub-to-tub, finding your perfect temperature, mountain view, or proximity to the San Juan River. Bring the whole family, as a full-size pool, mild-temperature tubs, and river-access provide endless hours of fun for the kids, too!
The geologic formations are contained in a tiny acre section of the Rio Grande National Forest. In this area a mound of volcanic ash has eroded into a landscape that is so bizarre it seems to belong on another planet. Wheeler Geologic Area resembles a mysterious ghost city, with spires and minarets that seem to float like a cloud above the surrounding mountains and evergreens of the national forest.
This unique geologic phenomenon originated as part of the violent volcanic history of the San Juan Mountains and millions of years of erosion by the elements that carved the eerie landscape that we see today. The San Juan Mountains are the largest volcanic area in Colorado. Enormous lava flows from volcanoes that existed 40 million to 30 million years ago coalesced into a composite volcanic field that was up to 4, feet thick and covered about 9, square miles.
After a quiet period that lasted about a million years, the character of the volcanic activity underwent a dramatic change. About 20 million years ago great pyroclastic eruptions began to produce large quantities of volcanic ash. With major ash flow eruptions exploding again and again from 18 different volcanoes, building up a layer of volcanic ash that was up to 3, feet thick in some areas. Most of these pyroclastic eruptions ended about Sporadic volcanic activity continued until about five million years ago. The Wheeler Geologic formations are a product of the period of ash flow eruptions.
The debris was blown into the air during a pyroclastic eruption consisting of individual particles that range in size from dust flakes to a few scattered pebbles rarely more than a few inches in diameter.
Occasionally broken rock fragments up to two or three feet in diameter, called brecci, were thrown out with the ash cloud. The ash particles settled back on to the groun din layers called volcanic tuff. Tuff particles are not firmly cemented together, so the relatively soft tuff beds are readily eroded by the wind and rain over millions of years. Most tuff is light gray or creamy in color, with a bit of pink and sometimes brown thrown in for good measure.
In the Wheeler area, the rains have carried away much of the smaller particles. Although a large rock will protect the tuff underneath it with the surrounding ash eroded away. Resulting in a tall spire with a large rock balanced on the top as if a race of giants had sculpted the pinnacles and then balanced a rock on top of their sculpture. During cooling, the beds of ash often developed numerous vertical cracks.
Erosion slowly widens these cracks, producing rows of ash columns that look like a parade of pale soldiers or huge ghosts. Some areas of ash are more solidly compacted than others, resulting in different rates of erosion that have produced many of the more peculiar shapes. Those who have written about the area describe the panorama of spires and pinnacles as forming castles, cathedrals and mosques.
The first recorded visit to the Wheeler formations was in when Frank Spencer, a Forest Service supervisor, and Elwood Bergy, a resort owner from Wagon Wheel Gap, followed up on rumors and located the place.
Their enthusiastic report owner from Wagon Wheel Gap followed up on rumors and located the place. Their enthusiastic report resulted in the designation of acres around the area as the Wheeler National Monument.
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President Theodore Roosevelt signed the proclamation creating the monument, in December The name of the monument honors George M. Wheeler of the U. Army Corp of Topographical Engineers, who did extensive geological surveys in the area from to Although he got close to the area, there is no recorded that Wheeler actually observed the formations. The Forest Service managed to monument until , at which time jurisdiction was transferred to the National Park Service. However, because of its remote location and a lack of money there was no development of the site.
In there were only 43 recorded visitors. The Forest Service was sensitive to the need to protect this fragile area. In the protected area was increased from to acres and all mineral prospecting was prohibited. In the improved gravel road that reached to within 14 miles of the area was constructed, but plans to continue the road to the actual geological formation were cancelled. It was in that the title Wheeler Geologic Area was applied to the protected acre site. The status of the Wheeler Geologic Area remained unchanged until On August 13 of that year the Colorado WildernessBill of was signed, placing a total of , acres in Colorado under tightly controlled wilderness management.
One of the designated wilderness areas includes the Wheeler Geologic Area; comprising 25, acres in Mineral and Saguache counties. Wilderness designation precludes any logging, mineral exploration, road building, new water diversion structures or mechanized travel. Under the terms of the Wilderness Bill, the Wheeler Geologic Area will receive full wilderness protection. This expansive, 12,square-foot home is designed to take advantage of sweeping views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Sagg Pond.
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