Agathla Peak

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"El Capitan (Arizona)" redirects here. For the school, see El Capitan (Arizona school).
Agathla Peak
  • Aghaałą́ (Navajo)
  • El Capitan (Spanish)
Elevation 7,099 ft (2,164 m) NAVD 88[1]
Prominence 1,436 ft (438 m)[1]
Location Navajo County, Arizona, United States
Coordinates 36°49′36″N 110°13′32″W / 36.8266665°N 110.2256865°W / 36.8266665; -110.2256865Coordinates: 36°49′36″N 110°13′32″W / 36.8266665°N 110.2256865°W / 36.8266665; -110.2256865[2]
Topo map USGS Agathla Peak
Type eroded volcanic plug
Volcanic field Navajo Volcanic Field

Agathla Peak (Navajo: Aghaałą́, Spanish: El Capitan) is a peak south of Monument Valley, Arizona, which rises over 1500 feet (457 meters) above the surrounding terrain. It is 7 miles (11 km) north of Kayenta and is visible from U.S. Route 163. The English designation Agathla is derived from the Navajo name aghaałą́ meaning 'much wool', apparently for the fur of antelope and deer accumulating on the rock.[2] The mountain is considered sacred by the Navajo.

Agathla Peak is an eroded volcanic plug consisting of volcanic breccia cut by dikes of an unusual igneous rock called minette. It is one of many such volcanic diatremes that are found in Navajo country of northeast Arizona and northwest New Mexico. Agathla Peak and Shiprock in New Mexico are the most prominent. These rocks are part of the Navajo Volcanic Field, in the southern Colorado Plateau. Ages of these minettes and associated more unusual igneous rocks cluster near 25 million years.

The Navajo Volcanic Field with Aglatha Peak
Aerial view of Agathla peak with the road to Monument Valley (163) in the foreground


  1. ^ a b "Agathla Peak, Arizona". Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  2. ^ a b "Agathla Peak". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Baars, Donald L. (1995). Navajo Country. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. pp. 78–83. ISBN 978-0-8263-1587-8. 

External links[edit]