Cross Mountain itself is an oblong, flat-topped land mass that rises over 2,200 feet above the floodplain of the Yampa River and the Little Snake River. The mountain trends north-south and forms an easily-identifiable landmark in the region.
The Yampa River cut a 1,000-foot-deep gorge, the Cross Mountain Canyon, through the mountain, forming a classic example of a superimposed river gorge with spectacular geologic history. Erosion of the mountain's east and west flanks has exposed colorful, rocky rims, side canyons and rock outcrops.
Total Area: 14,800 acres
Elevation Range: ~6,096 to ~7,212 feet
BLM Field Office: Little Snake
Designated: 1980 (Wilderness Study Area)
Location: The Cross Mountain WSA is located in Moffat County, approximately 15 miles west of Maybell; 45 miles west of Craig. The area is bordered on the south by Dinosaur National Monument. The Ant Hills, Chew Winter Camp, Peterson Draw, and Vale of Tears WSAs are also nearby.
Flora & Fauna: Vegetation consists mainly of pinyon-juniper woodlands, sagebrush communities, pockets of aspen, ponderosa pine, native grasses and wildflowers, mountain brush, and small riparian areas. Ownbey's thistle, Yampa beardtongue and Waton's prickly gilia are also in this area. Fauna includes elk, mule deer, antelope, coyote, mountain lion, fox, black bear, bighorn sheep, prairie dog, gopher snakes, western diamondbacks, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, other raptors, and various songbirds. The Yampa River houses the endangered Colorado squawfish, boneytail chub, humpback chub, and razorback sucker.
Recreation: Activities include high-risk and challenging whitewater floatboating and kayaking, hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, hunting, and photography. For more information, visit the Recreation page. Please note that though unconfined recreation is encouraged in WSAs, specific types of recreation may be barred from a specific area to prevent degradation of natural conditions.
Click here for additional information about the Cross Mountain WSA from the Little Snake Field Office.
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