Mt. Elbert
       7 ½’ quadrangle: Mt. Elbert, CO
       Pitkin and Lake Counties
       Gunnison National Forest
       Sawatch Range, Rocky Mountains

Metamorphic (metamorphosed sedimentary)
14, 433 ft (4,399 m)
Bedrock: Gneiss Early Proterozoic

Quartzo-feldspathic gneiss, micaceous gneiss and amphibolite, intruded by the St. Kevin Granite (Middle Proterozoic, 1400 million years old). The Sawatch Range was uplifted during the Laramide Orogeny, but the NE-trending shear zones in the Proterozoic basement rocks show evidence for repeated movement from the Precambrian to the Cenozoic. Metals including gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, iron and molybdenum were mined from the Leadville district, twelve miles to the northeast, where one can visit the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum.

Soil Series: No soil survey has been published for these counties, but at lower elevations the soil is likely the Colorado "state soil" (Seitz Series). See photos at:

Selected References:

  • Fridrich, C.J. and others, 1998, Geologic map of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area and the Grizzly Peak Caldera, Sawatch Range, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigation Series, Map I-2565.
  • VanLoenen, R.E., 1985, Geologic map of the Mount Massive Wilderness, Lake County, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-1792-A, 1:50,00

Other suggested sources of information:

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