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Chalk Cliffs of Mt Princeton

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Courtesy Steve Simon
The Chalk Cliffs
Chalk Cliffs of Mt Princeton

Majestic Mount Princeton has a notable feature on its southeastern side: Chalk Cliffs. Well, actually, they’re made of kaolinite. This soft white clay is deposited by hot mineral waters that bubble up through cracks in the granite. But to early surveyors it looked like chalk, so they applied the name to surrounding geographical features.

Mount Princeton was called Chalk Mountain before Ivy League surveyors renamed it. But the name lives on in Chalk Creek, flowing through Chalk Creek Canyon. At one time, this was a thriving mining district with two aerial tramways, a railroad and a population of two thousand in the town of St Elmo, now a ghost town.

It’s quiet here these days, but the warm waters that helped create the Chalk Cliffs are still burbling, drawing bathers far and wide to soothe themselves in the hot springs amid the breathtaking Sawatch Range.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.