Tushar Range, Utah 2013
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Overall, the Tushars are the remnants of a long succession of volcanoes that erupted from 5 -35 million years ago.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.