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Colorado’s 12 Strangest Rock Formations

By: Spencer McKee

Given the sheer number of rocks in Colorado, it wasn't too hard to find a few weird ones. From peaks that look like animals to remote spires in the midst of a wilderness, here are a few of the most iconic strange formations around the state.

12. Mushroom Rock


Located along the Tundra Communities Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, Mushroom Rock is another Colorado rock formation that must have been very easy to name. Photo Credit: Stewart M Green.

11. Independence Monument


Standing in solitude amongst other rock formations around Colorado National Monument, Independence Monument is the tallest freestanding rock in the park rising 450 feet off the canyon floor. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green
Frog Rock 2 - Katie Rae Bode - OutThere Colorado

10. Frog Rock


Just past Divide, Colorado if you’re headed west on Highway 24 from Colorado Springs, frog rock is easier to spot now as someone spray-painted it green. If you use your imagination, you’ll see that it looks like a frog perched on a rock. Photo Credit: Katie Rae Bode.
Nokhu Crags and Summer Storm over the Rocky Mountains - OutThere Colorado

9. Nohku Crags


If you haven’t seen the Never Summer Range in person, you need to add it to your bucket list. One rugged looking peak in the area is called the Nokhu Crags formation, reaching a top altitude of 12,490 feet. Photo Credit: Robert Ford
Fallen Rock Overlook. Photo Credit: Stewart M Green - OutThere Colorado.

8. Fallen Rock


A popular site in Colorado National Monument, Fallen Rock is aptly named, appearing as if it fell off of the cliff above. Photo Credit: Stewart M Green
Chimney Rock National Monument. Photo Credit: Chimney Rock - OutThere Colorado.

7. Chimney Rock


Believe it or not, every 18.6 years the moon rises perfectly between Chimney Rock and the more narrow rock beside it, Companion Rock. Photo Credit: Chimney Rock.
Castle Rock - OutThere Colorado

6. Castle Rock


Standing tall above a city near Denver by the same name, the Castle Rock formation is hard to miss during a trip between Colorado Springs and the Mile High City. If you happen to pass it at night during certain times of the year, you’ll see a light shaped like a star on top.
Devil's Causeway - Matthew Jones - OutThere Colorado

5. Devil’s Causeway


Also known as “the Great Wall of Colorado,” the Devil’s Causeway is noteworthy for it’s wall-like shape consisting of a narrow path with huge drop-offs on each side. It’s hikeable, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Photo Credit: Matthew Jones.
Kissing Camels Zoom - OutThere Colorado

4. Kissing Camels


Found on top of the largest hogback at the Garden of the Gods, once you spot the Kissing Camels, you’ll never miss them again. To find it here, look for the hole in the rocks. One camel is on the right, the other is on the left.
Boulder Flatirons - OutThere Colorado

3. The Flatirons


A result of harder rock colliding with softer rock over time, the Flatirons are the most recognizable natural feature of Boulder, Colorado. They’re a popular place for hiking and rock climbing, with the main trail to the top starting in Chautauqua Park.
Garden of the Gods 1 - OutThere Colorado

2. Balanced Rock


While there are several “balanced rocks” around the country, the Balanced Rock formation within the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is one of the most accessible rock formations of its type. Right by the road, it’s easy for visitors of the park to hop out for a quick photo.
Sky Pond - Steven Bratman - OutThere Colorado

1. Cathedral Spires


Rising up above Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Cathedral Spires look like they belong on another planet. While they’re remote, people often seek them out for their rock climbing routes. The Sharkstooth is the tallest spire in the bunch, reaching an elevation of 12,630 feet. Photo Credit: Steven Bratman.

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