Geologic Tour of New Mexico — Landmarks & Other Features
The wide-open landscape of New Mexico makes it possible to see landmarks from great distances. Some of the more geologically interesting landmarks, scenic areas, and historical sites — that are not otherwise set aside as parks, monuments, or refuges — are described in detailed virtual tours.
Use criteria in the form below to search by region, physiographic province, keyword, or county. Combining search criteria may provide few or no results. You can also explore the map and click on sites directly.
Angel Peak, a 7000-foot pinnacle capped by sandstone, is a prominent landmark near Bloomfield in northwestern New Mexico. It is in the northern part of the San Juan Basin, a large structural depression that formed starting about 75 million years ago during compressional Laramide deformation. The San Juan Basin was surrounded by mountainous uplifts to the north (now buried by the 35 to 20 Ma San Juan volcanic field in southwestern Colorado) and to the east that also formed by Laramide-related compression. The sediments that can be seen at Angel Peak National Recreation area were eroded off of the old Laramide highlands and deposited in the basin 50 to 65 million years ago. More recently, over the course of the last 5 million years (or less), the westward-draining San Juan River, a tributary to the Colorado River, has eroded the rocks of the San Juan Basin. Drainages feeding into the San Juan River have carved the scenic landscape we see today.
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