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Needle Rock is the remnant of a volcanic plug that pushed up through the crust, and due to the relative hardness of the basalt of which it is made, has eroded significantly slower than the surrounding shale and sandstone that makes up many of the rocks in the area. It originated as the throat of a large volcano about 28 million years ago. It stands 800 feet (240 m) tall above the floor of the Smith Fork of the Gunnison River valley. It is believed to have lost a significant amount of height from a 1921 earth quake radiating from Utah. Needlerock is located just east of Crawford. For more information visit



Needlerock in warm orange sun

Needlerock in bright white sun