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POGIs in Colorado

Brief by Central Staff

Geology – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Colorado Geological Survey devoted its most recent Rock Talk newsletter to POGIs — Points Of Geologic Interest.

The featured POGIs are spots with “guided activities in the form of interpretive presentations, hikes, or tours; self-guiding hikes or drives; museum exhibits; roadside displays; or educational seminars where geology is a primary topic of interest.”

As you might have guessed, there are a few of them around here, although most are clustered in the Front Range.

The Leadville area offers the Climax Mine, the Matchless Mine, and the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum. Salida has the Lost Mine and the Arkansas River Headwaters Recreation Area. Alamosa offers the Ryan Geology Museum.

To the southwest, there’s the Slumgullion Slide near Lake City, and the Creede Underground Mining Museum. CaƱon City has fossils at Garden Park and tracks on Skyline Drive, as well as Dinosaur Depot downtown. And there’s the Florrisant Fossil Beds National Monument.

Given how prominent our geology is, what with the state’s highest mountain range and its longest range, as well as the Rio Grande Rift, there probably should be more geologic presentations along our roads.

But then again, while we hear of all kinds of tourism from adventure to heritage to scenic, we haven’t encountered the phrase “geologic tourism” yet, and so it may be a while before some family in the Midwest thinks “Let’s go out to Colorado this summer and see the vast horst-and-graben rift system in the middle of the state.”