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Mount Sopris

At: Colorado, United States
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About: Mount Sopris is a high, twin-summitted mountain peak located at the northwest end of the Elk Mountains in western Colorado in the United States. The mountain is located in western Pitkin County, south of Carbondale and southwest of the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork rivers. It lies in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, part of the White River National Forest. Mount Sopris is notable for having two summits, East Sopris and West Sopris, that are one-half mile (0.8 km) apart and have exactly the same elevation of 12,965 feet. Mount Sopris dominates the skyline of Carbondale and the lower Roaring Fork Valley, serving as an unofficial symbol of the area. It is prominently visible from State Highway 82 in the vicinity of Carbondale. In terms of local relief, it is one of the largest peaks in the state of Colorado. For example, West Sopris rises 6,250 ft (1,905 m) above the valley to the west in only 2.5 mi (4 km). (One can compare this to the corresponding vertical rise of the more well-known Maroon Peak in the heart of the Elks: it rises only about 4,300 ft (1,310 m), at best, in the same horizontal distance.) In fact a vertical rise of over 6,000 feet in less than 3 miles is rare and impressive anywhere in the contiguous United States. Hiking/Climbing The Mount Sopris Trail ascends to East Sopris via its east ridge. It starts near Dinkle Lake, on the northeast side of the mountain, and passes between the two Thomas Lakes just before reaching timberline. The ascent involves about 4,300 ft (1,300 m) of vertical gain (plus 600 ft/180 m for a round-trip to West Sopris, if desired) and 12 mi (20 km) of hiking (plus 1 mi/1.6 km for West Sopris); it is a strenuous trail hike, with some scree.


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