OF-05-08 Geologic Map of the Buena Vista West Quadrangle, Chaffee County, Colorado


Description of the geologic setting and mineral resource potential of this 7.5-minute quadrangle located in central Colorado. (1:24,000). Digital ZIP/PDF download. OF-05-08D

From the Author’s Notes:

The Buena Vista West quadrangle is located in Chaffee County, in the valley of the Arkansas River; the eastern edge of the quadrangle contains the town of Buena Vista. U.S. Highway 24 runs parallel to the Arkansas River in the northeast part of the quadrangle and passes through Buena Vista on its way to Leadville. A second paved highway, County Road 306, follows Cottonwood Creek across the entire width of the quadrangle from Buena Vista to the Sawatch Range. The highway continues west of the quadrangle boundary and crosses the Continental Divide at Cottonwood Pass 12 miles west of the quadrangle, then descends from the Sawatch Range into Taylor Park.

The principal geographic features in the Buena Vista West area are the valley of the upper Arkansas River, which comprises the eastern half of the quadrangle, and the Sawatch Range, which comprises the western half. The Arkansas River flows southeast down the east side of the valley toward Salida. The highest point in the map area is 14,040 feet above sea level, on a spur ridge of Mount Princeton in the extreme southwest corner of the quadrangle. The lowest point in the map area (7,920 feet above sea level) is in the northeastern part of the quadrangle on the Arkansas River near the town of Buena Vista. There is 6,120 feet of vertical relief in the Buena Vista West quadrangle, most of which is associated with the mountain front of the Sawatch Range.

Most of the mountainous part of the Buena Vista West quadrangle is publicly owned land administered by the U.S. Forest Service (San Isabel National Forest) and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Land in the Arkansas Valley part of the quadrangle is mostly privately owned.