December 22, 2004
This panoramic view from west to north along the front range of the Colorado Rockies was taken from the crest of the Dakota Hogback near Morrison, Colorado on November 6, 2004. The front range here is characterized by steeply eastward dipping Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments deformed during the Larimide Orogeny, between 70 and 40 million years ago. Draped up against the uplifted crystalline basement rocks (the snow speckled highland on the left) are in succession; the red rocks (sandstone) of the Fountain Formation, which house the Red Rocks Amphitheatre; the white sandstones of the Lyons Formation; the red Lykins Formation; the weak Ralston Creek shale; the shaley Morrison Formation; and the resistant yellow sandstones of the Dakota Formation (see the labeled image link below). This area, a quick drive from downtown Denver, is home to Dinosaur Ridge and some fantastic Jurrasic and Cretaceous dinosaur fossils and footprints.