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Divide Road leads to fabulous views of a rare geological feature. Two creeks, East Creek and West Creek, flow in opposite directions off a 7,000-foot mound. The only canyon in the world that does this, the Ute named the canyon Unaweep, meaning “canyon with two mouths.” The creeks are also a riparian habitat where you can see songbirds, trout and aquatic insects. Continue for a few miles where you can walk to the edge of the canyon wall for a spectacular view of the Unaweep Canyon. The 2-mile side trip on a dirt road allows you to observe one of the most interesting geologic symbols of the Unaweep Canyon, the Great Unconformity. An unconformity occurs when there is a gap in the continuous record of geologic activity — usually by extensive erosion of rock or even no rock layer at all. The missing pages of history. The Uncompahgre Plateau rose once and completely eroded over the course of 2.2 billion years, then rose again to its current 10,000 foot magnificence. The gap is visible where you will see a line between the granite (some of Colorado’s oldest exposed rocks) and the red sandstone that the Uncompahgre Plateau has today. This particular one is “Great” due to the extreme gap of 1.2 billion years representing a quarter of the Earth’s history.
Continue on Divide Road to the BLM’s Dominguez Campground. This large and pristine terrain is home to a wide variety of wildlife including black bear, mountain lion, elk and golden eagles.
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