The Needle Rock Natural Area is an Instant Wilderness Study Area (ISA) that is dominated by its main feature - Needle Rock itself, which is a highly unique geologic feature. It is believed to be a neck of intrusive igneous rock, or a laccolith.
It originated in late Miocene as molten rock, remained below the earth's surface, and intruded into existing sedimentary formation. Gradually, with the passing of several million years, the overlying sedimentary beds eroded away, leaving this core of igneous rock that abrubtly rises nearly 1,000 feet above the Smith Fork River valley.
Total Area: 83 acres
Elevation Range: ~6,900 to ~7,800 feet
BLM Field Office: Uncompahgre
Designated: 1980 (Instant Wilderness Study Area)
Location: The Needle Rock Natural Area ISA is located in Delta County, approximately four miles northeast of Crawford; 25 miles northeast of Montrose.
Flora & Fauna: Vegetation consists mainly of oak, serviceberry, juniper, native grasses, and shrubs. Fauna includes falcon and various other raptors, and various small mammals.
Recreation: Activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, rock climbing, and photography. For more information, visit the Recreation page. Please note that though unconfined recreation is encouraged in wilderness study areas, specific types of recreation may be barred from a specific area to prevent degradation of natural conditions.
Click here for additional information about the Needle Rock ISA from the Uncompahgre Field Office.
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Uncompahgre Field Office | (970) 240-5300 | 2465 S. Townsend Ave., Montrose, CO 81401