Geologic Tour of New Mexico — Physiographic Provinces
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The varied landscape of New Mexico is divided in six distinct physiographic provinces, each with characteristic landforms and a unique geologic history. We invite you to investigate points of geologic interest located in each province.
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Coyote Creek State Park is along NM–434, 18 mi north of Mora and 17 mi south of Angel Fire in the eastern Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. The park is at the bottom of Guadalupita Canyon, elevation 7,700 ft, where Coyote Creek runs through meadows surrounded by mountain forest before joining the Rio Mora and eventually the Canadian River to the southeast. La Mesa forms the eastern ridge and is 9,112 ft in elevation. Ocate is to the east on the eastern side of La Mesa. The Rincon Range forms the western skyline and is 9,100 ft in elevation.
Coyote Creek State Park is famous for its variety of wildflowers, including geraniums, sunflowers, iris, and primrose. Be careful of the poison ivy that also grows along the creek and hillslopes! Along the hills alpine fir, blue spruce, Douglas-fir, Engelmann spruce, Gambel oak, hairy mountain mahogany, one-seed juniper, piñon, ponderosa pine, quaking aspen, Rocky Mountain juniper, wavyleaf oak, and white fir grow. Chinouapin oak, chokecherry, narrowleaf cottonwood, and willow grow along Coyote Creek. Wildlife common in the area include deer, bear, elk, raccoon, squirrel, beaver, coyote, and many birds.