Hepburn's Mesa
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member brwhiz
N 45° 17.698 W 110° 50.086
12T E 512955 N 5015731
Quick Description: The Hepburn's Mesa interpretive sign is located in the Emigrant highway rest area on the east side of US Highway 89 between Emigrant and Corwin Springs, Montana.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 10/14/2012 11:38:08 AM
Waymark Code: WMFG0C
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
Views: 3

Long Description:
The Montana Department of Transportation interpretive sign reads:

Hepburn's Mesa

The black-capped bluffs located on the east side of the Yellowstone River are called Hepburn's Mesa. The mesa is capped by a basalt lava flow that erupted from a small local volcanic vent that has long since eroded away. Geologically, the lava flow is very young, perhaps having erupted as recently as 2.2 million years ago. Large amounts of iron in the basalt make it dark colored. Some of the iron crystallized as the mineral magnetite, which as the name implies is magnetic, and in large concentrations can cause compasses to behave erratically. The basalt flow overlies unconsolidated gravels, which in turn overlie older light-colored fine-grained sedimentary rocks that were deposited in an ancient lake that once occupied this site. The sedimentary beds of Hepburn's Mesa contain abundant Miocene fossils, including ancient rodents, moles, and a proto-horse called Merychippus, the first equine to exhibit the distinctive head of today's horses. On top of Hepburn's Mesa, overlying the basalt is glacial till of Pleistocene age. The surface of these deposits is hummocky and is littered with abundant glacial erratic boulders. For generations, Native Americans drove bison off the mesa's cliffs to obtain food, hides, and other materials important to their way of life.

Hepburn's Mesa is named for John Hepburn, a local rancher, rockhound and amateur paleontologist. He arrived in the Emigrant area in 1909 after working in Yellowstone National Park for many years. From 1935 until his death in 1959, he operated a museum next to Secondary Highway 540 that displayed many of the geological specimens and fossils he had found in this area. The museum was a local landmark for many years. It still stands next to the old highway and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Waymark is confirmed to be publicly accessible: yes

Access fee (In local currency): .00

Requires a high clearance vehicle to visit.: no

Requires 4x4 vehicle to visit.: no

Public Transport available: no

Parking Coordinates: Not Listed

Website reference: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
No specific requirements, just have fun visiting the waymark.
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