Sugarite Canyon State Park - Raton, NM
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member beagle39z
N 36° 56.399 W 104° 22.798
13S E 555211 N 4088394
Quick Description: Located on the New Mexico/Colorado border, Sugarite Canyon State Park features heavily wooded mountains and meadows painted with wildflowers and butterflies.
Location: New Mexico, United States
Date Posted: 5/5/2009 5:39:25 AM
Waymark Code: WM6AY0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
Views: 4

Long Description:
The Coal Camp Interpretive Trail winds through the ruins of the Sugarite coal camp. Coal mining in the area provided an important economic boost to the region and state. The visitor center provides information about the coal camp and the area's history.

An extended cliff of basaltic rock columns, often referred to as "caprock" is the dominant geologic feature at the park. About 12 million years ago, broad sheets of molten lava erupted from a nearby volcano, forming layers of basalt rock 10-100 feet thick.

There are two lakes - 120 acre Lake Maloya and 3 acre Lake Alice in the park. Lake Dorothey, also about 3 acres, is just north of the park in the adjacent Colorado State Wildlife Area.

Most of the rock formations in Sugarite Canyon are sedimentary in nature with the exception of the cap rock that is made up of volcanic basalt. It is within the layers of sedimentary rock that the coal seam, which was mined in the early 20th century and led to the establishment of the historic Sugarite coal camp, is found.

Just at the top of the coal seam is another very important layer of rock dating back to around 65 million years ago. The rock, which is high in the mineral iridium, is believed to have originated from the fallout of dust from the impact of a large meteor, which struck the earth just off the coast of Mexico. Evidence of large land based dinosaurs can be found below this rock layer, but not above. Scientists believe that the meteor’s impact caused the extinction of these large creatures. These unique geologic features are great subject for interpretation.

The basalt caprock dating back to around 12-14 million years ago creates a beautiful backdrop to the park’s lakes and campgrounds. The basalt is very hard and resistant to erosion and tends to crack and break off in long columnar pieces, which create vertical cliffs that are popular among rock climbers.
Park Type: Overnight

Visitors can fish and boat (electric motors only), observe the plentiful wildlife, hike scenic trails, cross-country ski, camp and picnic.

Park Fees: Not listed

Land: 3,600 acres Lake Surface: 120 acres Elevation: 7,800 feet

Date Established?: July of 1985

Link to Park: [Web Link]

Additional Entrance Points: Not Listed

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Benchmark Blasterz visited Sugarite Canyon State Park - Raton, NM 7/24/2007 Benchmark Blasterz visited it