The Curecanti Needle photographed ca. 1884.
|Elevation||7,739 ft (2,359 m)|
|Prominence||700 ft (210 m)|
|Location||Curecanti National Recreation Area
Gunnison County, Colorado, US
The Curecanti Needle is a distinct granite rock formation located in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison between Montrose and Gunnison, Colorado. A Colorado landmark, it rises steeply to a sharp point approximately 700 feet (210 m) above the canyon floor.
Until 1882, viewing the remote Needle presented a challenge, but the arrival of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad mainlines through the canyon significantly improved accessibility. The train ride along the Gunnison River soon earned a reputation for its scenery, and the Curecanti Needle was featured in railroad company logos from 1887 to 1926. The Curecanti National Recreation Area was named for the Needle; the word "Curecanti" itself is said to come from the name of a Ute Indian chief.
In 1968, the Morrow Point Dam was completed about 6.2 miles (10.0 km) downstream from the Needle, and the elevated water level of the resulting Morrow Point Reservoir has somewhat changed the view from that shown on the 1884 photo at right. Trains no longer run through the Canyon, but the Curecanti Needle can be viewed from the Pioneer Point overlook off State Highway 92, or during a Morrow Point Boat Tour, offered by the National Park Service.
- "Curecanti Needle". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 16 September 2008.
- "Narrow Gauge Railroad Through Black Canyon". Curecanti National Recreation Area. National Park Service. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- Sanderson, Dale. "Say it like a Colorado native". Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- "Scenic Drives". Curecanti National Recreation Area. National Park Service. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- "Morrow Point Boat Tours". Curecanti National Recreation Area. National Park Service. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- Curecanti National Recreation Area - National Park Service
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