Location: Moffat CountySize: 6500 acresDesignated: August 1990Land Manager: The Bureau of Land Management
Lookout Mountain is an excellent example of an isolated, flat-topped erosional remnant of a once-extensive Tertiary alluvial plain. Some 26 million years ago, much of Colorado was a relatively flat plain, the surface of which is preserved in these types of remnants. The mountain is capped by the Bishop Conglomerate, made up of flood and mudflow deposits derived from the Uinta Mountains to the northwest. The site contains high-quality cold desert shrublands and pinion-juniper woodlands.
Populations of four plant species of special concern are also found in the alluvial gravels that cap the mountain: Astragalus detritalis (debris milkvetch), Cryptantha caespitosa (tufted catseye), Sphaeromeria capitata (rock tansy), and Townsendia strigosa (hairy townsendia). The site provides a panoramic vista of much of northwestern Colorado, as well as of the colorful badlands formed of Green River and Wasatch shales at Vermillion Bluffs.