Tushar Range, Utah

This is home….I was raised on the Tushar Mountains. The Tushar Mountain-Range is bounded roughly by I-15 to the west, I-70 to the north, US-89 to the east and U-20 to the south. U-153 crosses the southern part of the range between Beaver and Junction, Utah.

Map of the Tushar Mountains east of Beaver, Utah.

Even though this was my back yard, I hardly could include every beautiful place on this Mountain Range. However, I’ve included some of my most favorite places.

Puffer Lake in 1964. My father Patrick Lindsay holding me and standing next to my brother Kriston and Jennifer.

The Tushar Mountains are the third highest mountain range in Utah after the Uinta Range and the La Sol Range. Located in the Fishlake National Forest, (I worked for the Forest Service for about 6 years as a young man).

Puffer Lake during early June of 1993. A totally natural and full lake.

The Tushar Mountains consist of the Bullion Canyon Volcanics from 22-35 million years ago and the Mount Belknap Volcanics from roughly 21 million years ago.

A July of 2013, look at Puffer Lake, looking North West towards our old family cabin. Mount Holly can barely be seen on the right
Puffer Lake in 2013; Looking Northeast at Puffer Lake Peak and Mount Holly on the left.

Catastrophic eruptions with large volumes of ash deposited as far north as Richfield forming the Joe Lott Tuff Member and led to the collapse of the Mount Belknap caldera 19 million years ago.

Our family cabin next to Puffer Lake during the summer of 2013.

Fluvial, eolian, and glacial activity has largely eroded these volcanics. Sulphur-laden deposits with their distinctive yellow color are also visible in this region and attest to the later stages of the volcanic activity.

My sister’s painting of Puffer Lake, “Jennifer Lindsay/Palmer”

Overall, the Tushars are the remnants of a long succession of volcanoes that erupted from 5 -35 million years ago.

June of 1981; my wife, (Becky) and I are posing south of Mt. Baldy on the left and Mt. Belknap on the right.
Our honeymoon tent on Big John’s Flat on the Tusher Mountains 1981
Becky is posing at a waterfall in Poison Creek off of Mount Holly near Big John’s Flat in 1981
Poison Creek near Big John’s Flat in 1981

The Tushar Mountains are composed of a whole slew of igneous rock types including obsidian, basalt and andesite flow, breccias, tuffs, ash flows, silicates, rhyolite and granitic intrusions. The total thickness of these deposits exceeds 3,500 m.

Photo taken in 2013, just south of Mt. Shelly near “Mud-lake” looking north towards Mt. Baldy on the left and Mt. Belknap on the right. “Blue lake is seen at the foot of Mt. Belknap.

Many of these volcanic rocks are rich in mineral deposits, including ores of gold, silver, mercury, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, manganese, iron, aluminum, and potassium.

Getting ready to hike down to “Blue Lake” near Mt. Belknap

Pictured above is Mount Baldy at 12,090 feet (3,690 m) and Mount Belknap at 12,137 feet (3,699 m). Both formed on the cusp of the Mount Belknap Caldera (once a volcano).

On the trail towards “Blue Lake” and looking up and west towards Mount Baldy.

Mount Belknap and Baldy of the Tushars were formed between 22 and 32 million years ago by volcanic activity that included a calamitous explosion that blew off the top of a massive peak leaving these two peaks behind.

“Blue Lake” at the foot of Mount Belknap and at the top of North Creek Fork. Photo taken in 2013. (Blue is not seen close up). This lake is unable to support fish for some reason.

The Tushars have at least seven high alpine glaciated canyons, Cottonwood Canyon, North Fork of Cottonwood Canyon, South Fork Basin, The Pocket Basin, Bullion Basin, Beaver Basin and City Creek Basin. All were heavily glaciated during the last ice age.

A look down “South Creek Basin” towards Beaver, Utah.

Pictured above, the Altered Zone excels in the Colorado Plateau for showing the effects of hot water or hydrothermal activity of igneous rocks and the development of clays in the weathering process associated with the late phases of igneous activity. The highly altered, brightly colored rocks associated with a variety of igneous intrusions and extrusions make this area distinct and virtually unique in the Colorado Plateau.

On Circleville Mountain, looking north towards Mount Baldy and Belknap in the distance. This is the rim of another Caldera called the Circleville Mountain Caldera. (Picture taken 2013)

Pictured above, is an outcrop of a white silicate rock that my Father wanted me to make a headstone out-of. It was a highly resistant, tightly compacted Quartz that contained red, green and black veins. He died in May of 2012.

Looking towards Mount Baldy and Holly, across “Big Flat” in 1981
Photo taken in Fall of 1982 of Kent’s Lake near Circleville Mtn.; (behind the lake is actually Birch Creek Mountain……west of Circleville Mtn.)

Pictured above, the Tushars support alpine and sub-alpine vegetation, mountain meadows, dense aspen, sub-alpine fir, Engelmann Spruce, five needle pine and some Douglas Fir, mountain brush, sagebrush steppe, pinion-juniper woodlands, oak, mountain mahogany, and upland mountain grasslands.

Photo taken in the fall of 1982 of Upper Kent’s Lake. This is my father and mother. Patrick and Louise Lindsay (both passed away).
Looking South toward “Strawberry Flat” from Merchant Valley in 1982
Looking off of the cliffs of “Strawberry Flat” down Beaver Canyon and Dry Hollow in 1982.
My “Forest Service” crew, building a fence at “South Creek” in 1982
“Cherry Creek & Dog Valley” on the southside of the Tushar Mountains
Posing with my “Work Horse named Newt” on the Forest Service in 1982 at “Cherry Creek” on the southern portion of the Tushar Mountains

On the northeastern part of the Tusher Range and located a few miles north of Marysvale, Big Rock Candy Mountain consists of altered volcanic rock in various shades of yellow, orange, red, and white, (pictured below). Approximately 22 – 35 million y.a., a cluster of stratovolcanoes erupted, depositing large volumes of lava and ash. Known as the Bullion Canyon Volcanics, these volcanic rocks are more than 1,000 m thick. Approximately 21 million years ago, at least six magma bodies intruded the overlying Bullion Canyon Volcanics. Through a complex chemical process involving hydrogen sulfide, steam, ground water, and oxygen, the original volcanic rock was partially altered or totally replaced. The vivid colors that one sees at Big Rock Candy Mountain are the direct result of this mineralization. The yellow, orange, and red colors are from the presence of iron minerals, such as hematite, and pyrite. The white color is due to the presence of alunite and kaolinite, minerals rich in potassium and Aluminum. Over the past 15 million years, erosion has removed the distinct shapes of the former volcanoes, and within the past several million years has exposed the altered volcanic rocks in Marysvale Canyon along the Sevier River.

Becky posing in front of the “Big Rock Candy Mountain” on the northeastern portion of the Tushar Mountains

The Deer Trail Mine is near Marysvale, Utah on the eastern side of the Tushar Mountains. Pictured below, the mine operations consist of underground workings. There is one inclined shaft. Subsurface depth reaches a maximum of 232 meters and extends 39,624 meters in length. The ore mined is composed of gold, galena and silver with waste material consisting primarily of fluorite. The ore body is tabular shaped 1,219 meters long, 121 meters wide, and 12 meters thick. The host rock in this area is limestone from 259.80 to 252.17 million years ago.

I’m posing in front of the “Electric Mine-Car”, inside the Deer Trail Mine near Marysville, Utah.
The house I was raised in Beaver, Utah, (west of the Tusher Range Mountains).
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