|Drive down Red Canyon Road to just past Four Mile Creek then hike to higher
elevations, and each step brings you that much closer to the most rural
Evidence of the passing of the Pleistocene Glacier and the effect it had as it carved into the Colorado landscape can be seen in the glacial cirque and the flanking arêtes, visible on the mountain peak in the upper left corner.
The labeled photo below will help to identify these glacial features.
| Resistant Quartz and Arkose Sandstones, the latter containing Orthoclase
Feldspar, can be found in isolated outcrops that obtrusively stand out against
the Colorado skyline. Also common is banded sandstone; see the collage below.
| The lighter horizontal layer of sedimentary rock is resistant quartz
| Colorful Colorado is famous for vivid red rock outcrops;
sandstones and shales that have been stained with iron oxide impurities,
coating sedimentary rock grains and also filling pore spaces between them.
Known as Redbeds,
these coarse grained sedimentary rocks were deposited during the Permian
and Triassic Periods in Colorado.
"Impurities", in this case, are a good thing since such coloring renders some of the most magnificent landscapes imaginable.
|The Cañon City embayment is situated between 2 major mountain ranges, the Front Range and the Wet Mountains. Flanking Precambrian cores are Paleozoic through Mesozoic rock strata, deformed by Laramide Orogeny folds and faults and exposed in rock outcrops in and around the Cañon City area.|
|Looking down the valley one can make out the faint silhouette of the magnificent Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range in the distance.|
, mostly Sandstone.|
Around 70 and 72 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous Period, the Laramide Orogeny, a major uplift and mountain building event, began to affect Colorado Geology and it continued to do so into the Paleogene period of the Cenozoic era (post-dinosaurs).
Horizontally deposited sedimentary rock layers were thrust upward, many to near vertical positions, during the Laramide mountain building. At this time the shallow inland sea that covered the area retreated, never to return again. 1
The Rocky Mountain range was uplifted and rivers such as the Arkansas began downcutting, eventually forming deep gorges, such as the Royal Gorge. Tilted blocks of crustal rock, bounded by thrust and reverse faults, included the overthrusting of older Proterozoic rock strata over younger, Paleozoic rock layers.
Chemical weathering paints the outcrops with vivid red hematite (iron oxide) and yellow limonite hues. See photos of these minerals below; they will also enlarge.
For best viewing and for optimum resolution of the enlarged Tilted Rocks photo, please maximize your browser window after clicking on the image to the left.
Wild turkey are abundant and one of the symbols appears to represent a turkey's foot; perhaps symbolizing a successful hunt for a Hunting and Gathering tribe. Petroglyphs throughout Ccolorado have been dated between 7500 B.C. to the mid-1500s. 2
The Southern Ute Indian Tribes populated this area of Southern Colorado and so it is possible that the drawings are Ute in origin. 3
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