Mount Sopris

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Mount Sopris West Peak
Mtsop.JPG
Mount Sopris as viewed from State Highway 82.
Elevation 12,965 ft (3,952 m)[1][2]
Prominence 1,453 ft (443 m)[3]
Isolation 9.23 mi (14.85 km)[3]
Location
Mount Sopris West Peak is located in Colorado
Mount Sopris West Peak
Mount Sopris West Peak
Colorado
Location Pitkin County, Colorado, U.S.[4]
Range Elk Mountains[3]
Coordinates 39°15′48″N 107°10′33″W / 39.2632208°N 107.1758583°W / 39.2632208; -107.1758583Coordinates: 39°15′48″N 107°10′33″W / 39.2632208°N 107.1758583°W / 39.2632208; -107.1758583[1]
Topo map USGS 7.5' topographic map
Mount Sopris, Colorado[1]
Climbing
Easiest route Mount Sopris Trail (hike)
Mount Sopris East Peak
Elevation 12,965 ft (3,952 m)[5]
Location
Coordinates 39°15′40″N 107°09′51″W / 39.26113°N 107.16417°W / 39.26113; -107.16417[6]
Looking North West from Mt. Sopris

Mount Sopris is a twin-summit mountain in the northwestern Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,965-foot (3,952 m) mountain is located in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of White River National Forest, 6.6 miles (10.7 km) northeast by north (bearing 30°) of the community of Redstone in Pitkin County, Colorado, United States.[1][2][3][4]

Mountain[edit]

Mount Sopris is located in western Pitkin County, south of Carbondale and southwest of the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork rivers. Mount Sopris is notable for having two summits, East Sopris and West Sopris, that are one-half mile (0.8 km) apart and have the same elevation of 12,965 feet (3,952 m).[7]

It is named for Richard Sopris,[8] a former mayor of Denver and part of the first European expedition in the Roaring Fork Valley. In 2011 J.P. McDaniels petitioned to rename East Sopris "Mount John Denver" after the Colorado singer. A local poll in Aspen and Carbondale said 74 percent of the respondents were against the proposal.[9][10]

Mount Sopris dominates the skyline of Carbondale and the lower Roaring Fork Valley, serving as an unofficial symbol of the area. It is prominently visible from State Highway 82 in the vicinity of Carbondale. In terms of local relief, it is one of the largest peaks in the state of Colorado. For example, West Sopris rises 6,400 ft (1,905 m) above the valley to the west in only 2.7 mi (4 km). Mount Sopris is an inactive volcano, but the exact time frame is not well documented.[11] (One can compare this to the corresponding vertical rise of the more well-known Maroon Peak in the heart of the Elks: it rises only about 4,300 ft (1,310 m), at best, in the same horizontal distance.) In fact a vertical rise of over 6,000 feet in less than 3 miles is rare and impressive anywhere in the contiguous United States.[12]

Hiking/Climbing[edit]

The Mount Sopris Trail ascends to East Sopris via its east ridge. It starts near Dinkle Lake, on the northeast side of the mountain, and passes between the two Thomas Lakes just before reaching timberline. The ascent involves about 4,300 ft (1,300 m) of vertical gain (plus 600 ft/180 m for a round-trip to West Sopris, if desired) and 12 mi (20 km) of hiking (plus 1 mi/1.6 km for West Sopris); it is a strenuous trail hike, with some scree.

Historical names[edit]

  • Mount Sopris [4]
  • Sopris Peak

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "W SOPRIS". U.S. National Geodetic Survey (NGS data sheet). Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b The elevation of Mount Sopris West Peak includes an adjustment of +1.669 m (+5.48 ft) from NGVD 29 to NAVD 88.
  3. ^ a b c d "Mount Sopris, Colorado". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Mount Sopris". Geographic Names Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ The elevation of Mount Sopris East Peak includes an adjustment of +1.723 m (+5.65 ft) from NGVD 29 to NAVD 88.
  6. ^ East Sopris on TopoQuest
  7. ^ The peaks are connected by a saddle at elevation of about 12,660 feet, giving them a relative prominence of just around 300 feet. Hence by the usual 300 foot prominence rule for Colorado summits, the two summits are on the borderline of being considered separate peaks.
  8. ^ Dziezynski, James (1 August 2012). Best Summit Hikes in Colorado: An Opinionated Guide to 50+ Ascents of Classic and Little-Known Peaks from 8,144 to 14,433 Feet. Wilderness Press. p. 231. ISBN 978-0-89997-713-3. 
  9. ^ Home About Sponsor (2011-07-24). "Mt. John Denver?". Upadowna.com. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  10. ^ "Speak out against Denver Peak proposal". AspenTimes.com. 2011-08-02. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  11. ^ Inactive volcano, Colorado Geology.
  12. ^ Fred Beckey, Cascade Alpine Guide, The Mountaineers.

External links[edit]