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February 24, 2013

Tiny bits of this mountain range has names.
Returning from looking at a house one afternoon, the realtor begins talking about the mountains in front of us. Then he begins pointing out certain peaks and naming them.

And here I was, thinking I would just need to learn new streets and communities!   This will be a problem.  I look at mountains and just see a rough and tumble skyline.  What, exactly, is a peak?  Where does it end?  Where does it begin?  The only peak I could ever identify in the mountains at home was Sugarloaf, and that one's kind of obvious.

Obviously I need some sort of peak identification guides.  So I poked around the internet.

Here's a breakdown.

There's five major mountain ranges that make up the Rocky Mountains, at least in the western US:  the Front Range, the  Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Park Range, the Sawatch Range and the San Juan Mountains.

The easternmost range is Front Range, and runs from central Wyoming to lower Colorado.  Front Range is broken up into three sub-ranges: Northern , Central, and Southern Front Range, which are also broken up into even smaller sections, if you can consider ANYTHING about the Rocky Mountains 'small.'

Boulder, CO is located on the plain, butting up against the foothills and the Northern Front Range, so the peaks in this area are the ones you'll most likely be seeing when driving around Boulder. has a great summary of the breakdown of Front Range and what areas of interest can be found in each section.  I even found an awesome labeled image detailing specific peaks of the Indian Peaks Wilderness!  (scroll the image to the right to see more.)  I added some of the peaks on my Living in Boulder map (the green trees) for a visual aid in understanding where the mountain peaks are.

I don't know if any of this will make any sense until I try it.  I posted a picture up top, but I don't really know where I was when I took it, other than somewhere in Roosevelt National Forest, on our way to Eldora Ski resort.   The rest of my photos are probably of the foothills rather than the mountains, and I haven't found out yet if the peaks on the foothills have names.  Or if they're even considered peaks.

Fortunately I don't have to learn a LOT of new names.  The roads and towns reflect the names of the mountains and peaks!