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Huerfano Butte

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(NordNordWest via Wikimedia Commons)
<p>Huerfano County got its name from Huerfano Butte &#8212; the orphan.</p>
Huerfano Butte

“Huerfano” is the Spanish word for “orphan.” And the namesake for Colorado’s Huerfano County seems exactly that: Huerfano Butte is a lonely little mountain miles from the rising Rockies to the west.

It’s been a landmark on the high plains of southern Colorado for centuries. “El Huerfano” was named when it was in Mexican territory. In the mid-1800s the Fremont expedition passed by and marveled at the mound’s rise from the surrounding plain, looking like "a mammoth sugar loaf." Road crews who built I-25 also took note, paving a pull-off at milepost 59 for northbound traffic to pause and ponder from the comfort of a car. Thousands of people pass by everyday, but even those who don't stop can't miss this stray protuberance with a story much older than human history. Millions of years old, Huerfano Butte is a "stark and lonely volcanic outcrop" that never erupted.

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.