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San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
280px
San Juan Mountains seen from the San Juan Skyway.
Highest point
Peak Uncompahgre Peak
Elevation Script error: No such module "convert".
Coordinates

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  • This is a redirect from a page that has been moved (renamed). This page was kept as a redirect to avoid breaking links, both internal and external, that may have been made to the old page name. For more information follow the category link._ 38°04′18″N 107°27′14″W / 38.07167°N 107.45389°W / 38.07167; -107.45389]Coordinates: [//tools.wmflabs.org/geohack/geohack.php?pagename=San_Juan_Mountains&params=38_04_18_N_107_27_14_W_type:#REDIRECT Template:If empty
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Geography
Country United States
State Colorado
Parent range Rocky Mountains

The San Juan Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado, and is the largest mountain range in Colorado by area. The area is highly mineralized (the Colorado Mineral Belt) and figured in the gold and silver mining industry of early Colorado. Major towns, all old mining camps, include Creede, Lake City, Silverton, Ouray, and Telluride. Large scale mining has ended in the region, although independent prospectors still work claims throughout the range. The last large scale mines were the Sunnyside Mine near Silverton, which operated until late in the 20th century and the Idarado Mine on Red Mountain Pass that closed down in the 1970s. Famous old San Juan mines include the Camp Bird and Smuggler Union mines, both located between Telluride and Ouray.

The Summitville mine was the scene of a major environmental disaster in the 1990s when the liner of a cyanide-laced tailing pond began leaking heavily. Summitville is in the Summitville caldera, one of many extinct volcanoes making up the San Juan volcanic field. One, La Garita Caldera, is Script error: No such module "convert". in diameter. Large beds of lava, some extending under the floor of the San Luis Valley, are characteristic of the eastern slope of the San Juans.

Tourism is now a major part of the regional economy, with the narrow gauge railway between Durango and Silverton being an attraction in the summer. Jeeping is popular on the old trails which linked the historic mining camps, including the notorious Black Bear Road. Visiting old ghost towns is popular, as is wilderness trekking and mountain climbing. Many of the old mining camps are now popular sites of summer homes. Though the San Juans are extremely steep and receive a lot of snow, so far only Telluride has made the transition to a major ski resort. Purgatory (now known as Durango Mountain Resort) is a small ski area north of Durango near the Tamarron Resort. There is also skiing on Wolf Creek Pass at the Wolf Creek ski area. Recently Silverton Mountain ski area has begun operation near Silverton.

The Rio Grande rises on the east side of the range. The other side of the San Juans, the western slope of the continental divide, is drained by tributaries of the San Miguel, Dolores and Gunnison rivers, which all flow into the Colorado River.

The San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests cover a large portion of the San Juan Mountains.

The San Juan Mountains also have the distinction of being the location of the highest airport with scheduled airline service in the U.S., being Telluride Airport at an elevation of 9,070 feet.[1]

Prominent peaks

File:San Juans north of Durango.jpg
San Juans in the fall of 2008, viewed from north of Durango
File:LakeTell.JPG
Trout Lake near Telluride
File:Slumgullion Pass.jpg
Uncompahgre Peak seen from Slumgullion Pass
File:Waterfalls in Tomboy, Colorado.jpg
Bridal Veil Falls near Telluride
  • Note: This is only a partial list of important peaks in the San Juans, listing peaks by prominence only. There are dozens more summits over 12,000 feet.
The 28 peaks of the San Juan Mountains with at least 500 meters of prominence
Rank Mountain Peak Elevation Prominence Isolation
1 Uncompahgre Peak NGS

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2 Mount Wilson[2]

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3 Mount Sneffels NGS

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4 Mount Eolus[2]

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5 Handies Peak NGS

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6 San Luis Peak NGS

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7 Vermilion Peak[2] PB

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8 Rio Grande Pyramid NGS PB

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9 Mount Oso[2]

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10 Tower Mountain[2] PB

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11 Sultan Mountain[2] PB

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12 Summit Peak NGS PB

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13 Dolores Peak[2] PB

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14 Lavender Peak[2] PB

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15 Bennett Peak[2] PB

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16 Conejos Peak NGS PB

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17 Twilight Peak[2]

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18 South River Peak[2] PB

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19 Peak 13,010[2] PB

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20 Lone Cone[2] PB

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21 Graham Peak NGS PB

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22 Elliott Mountain[2] PB

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23 Cornwall Mountain[2] PB

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24 Sawtooth Mountain NGS PB

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25 Chalk Benchmark NGS PB

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26 Little Cone NGS PB

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27 Cochetopa Dome

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28 Horse Mountain[2] PB

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History of the area

File:OreWagons.jpg
Ore wagons, San Juan Mountains, circa 1900?

Mining operators in the San Juan mountain area formed the San Juan District Mining Association (SJDMA) in 1903, as a direct result of a Western Federation of Miners proposal to the Telluride Mining Association for the eight hour day, which had been approved in a referendum by 72 percent of Colorado voters.[3] The new association consolidated the power of thirty-six mining properties in San Miguel, Ouray, and San Juan counties.[4] The SJDMA refused to consider any reduction in hours or increase in wages, helping to provoke a bitter strike.

Gallery

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360° panorama of the southwestern San Juans, photographed from the Gold Hill Ridge of the Telluride Ski Resort. Ridgeline annotation indicates the names and elevations of 43 visible peaks
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Acceleration of snowmelt by dust

Dust blown in from adjoining deserts sometimes accelerates snowmelt in the San Juans.[5]

See also

References

  1. http://www.tellurideairport.com
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 The elevation of this summit has been converted from the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD 29) to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88). National Geodetic Survey
  3. Roughneck—The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood, Peter Carlson, 1983, page 65.
  4. The Corpse On Boomerang Road, Telluride's War On Labor 1899-1908, MaryJoy Martin, 2004, page 201.
  5. "Dust Accelerates Snow Melt in San Juan Mountains". Earth Observatory NASA. July 4, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 

Further reading

  • Bove, D. et al. (2001). Geochronology and geology of Late Oligocene through Miocene volcanism and mineralization in the western San Juan Mountains, Colorado [U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1642]. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
  • Lippman, P.W. (2006). Geologic map of the central San Juan Caldera Cluster, southwestern Colorado [Geologic Investigations Series I-2799]. Reston, VA: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

External links