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The Rockies Explode
37 million years ago (Late Eocene)


Find the clickable hot spots for details and evidence, or follow the links below. (Click to see larger image)

Description: A dense, searing cloud from a distant volcanic eruption races across the Colorado landscape toward what is now Castle Rock. This superheated volcanic ash solidifies as soon as it strikes the ground. The landscape is literally smothered in airborne liquid volcanic rock hot enough to melt glass. A few titanotheres are grazing near a stream, oblivious of the impending disaster.

Formation: Castle Rock Rhyolite

Artist: Jan Vriesen

Best Viewing Spots:

  • Rock Park (Castle Rock)
  • Mesa tops between Castle Rock and Monument Hill
  • Molly Brown House Museum
  • Castlewood Canyon State Park

Capitol Hill mansion
A Capitol Hill neighborhood mansion made of Castle Rock Rhyolite


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