The Flat Tops Wilderness of Colorado

July 31, 2021  •  7 Comments


In 2019, and again earlier this month, I made a couple of visits to the Flat Tops Wilderness. Located in the northern part of Colorado, southwest of Steamboat Springs, the Flat Tops were formed by a combination of volcanic and glacial forces over a very long period of time. The Flat Tops’ unique shape is the result of millions of years of erosion that has stripped away ancient layers of softer sedimentary rock and exposed a hard basalt cap. Along the edges of the mountaintops, glacial activity more than 10,000 years ago scraped out stacks of sheer cliffs hundreds of feet tall.


The crest of the Flat Tops is an enormous plateau of mostly flat balsaltic lava, largely above timberline. This rock feature in the picture above is called The Chinese Wall. 

The Devil's Causeway is probably the most popular hiking destination in the Flat Tops Wilderness. The causeway is a narrow neck of the plateau where eroding glaciers on both sides almost met. 

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A section of the causeway is only about 4 feet wide with a sheer drop of 400 feet on both sides!

As a result of all the glacier activity, there are numerous small lakes such as the ones you see here.  

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Such goregous reflections!  I will have more new pictures from elsewhere in Colorado soon. That will be my next blog post that comes out later this summer. 


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