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Colorado Tall Tales (Just for Fun)

Colorado Tall Tales (Just for Fun)

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Colorado Tall Tales (Just for Fun)

Page Type: Article

Object Title: Colorado Tall Tales (Just for Fun)


Page By: Scott

Created/Edited: Jul 26, 2006 / Jul 27, 2006

Object ID: 210643

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Page Score: 86.37%  - 22 Votes 

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Colorado Tall Tales

Colorado, and the USA in general, are notorious for claiming false "world records". Just for fun, here are some of them.

Tall Tale #1

St. Vrain Glaciers are the southernmost glaciers in North America.

The reality: Since when did Mexico secede from North America? The glaciers there are much larger and much further south. California also has many glaciers that are further south.

Pico de Orizaba.
Orizaba is a glaciated peak, as are some other peaks in Mexico.

Tall Tale #2

Longs Peak is the second highest near vertical wall in the US, after El Capitan.

Reality: Zion National Park has many just as vertical vertical faces 2000+ feet. Yosemite has other near vertical faces that exceed 2000 feet besides El Capitan. Mount Cleaveland in Montana has an near 4000 feet almost as steep as the Diamond. Alaska has many almost vertical faces 2000+ feet. I believe that even in Colorado the Painted Wall in Black Canyon is higher. Some say Notch Peak Utah has a higher vertical face than El Capitan, but alas it too is a tall tale since the face is broken in two sections by a ledge, often not visible from below.

West Temple
The face on the West Temple is higher than the Diamond.

Tall Tale #3

Black Canyon of the Gunnison is the narrowest gorge in North America that is this deep.

Reality: The canyon forming Zion Narrows is just as deep, and much narrower.

Zion Narrows
The canyon forming the Zion Narrows is just as deep as, but narrower than Black Canyon.

Tall Tale #4

Mount Evans has the highest motor road in the world.

Reality: Many paved roads and highways exceed this in Tibet, Pakistan, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. The highest paved highway I know of is the one between Arica Chile and La Paz Bolivia which reaches an elevation of near 16,500 feet.

Cerro de San Francisco – in...
In this area, the Arica to La Paz Highway reaches almost 16,500 feet.

Tall Tale #5

Trail Ridge is the highest continuous highway in the world.

Reality: See Tall Tale #4.

Tall Tale #6

Grand Mesa is the highest flat-topped mountain in the world.

Reality: The highest flat topped mountain in the world is only 11,300 feet high? I've seen a whole lot of flat topped mountains much higher than this, even in Colorado.

This is the un-named peak...
Does this mountain, also in Colorado, looked flat-topped to you?

Tall Tale #7

Grand Mesa is the largest area flat-topped mountain in the world.

Reality: the Guiana Highlands have many flat-topped mountains with larger areas, and I assume many other parts of the world do too (South Africa is one possibility). (Interestingly, Utah claims the same exact world record for Boulder Mountain, but it too is a tall tale).

Most of the Guiana Highlands are composed of huge flat top mountains, and many are much larger than the one in this picture.


Mount Evans July 2003


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Voted 10/10

Thanks Scott, for your research! Very interesting, indeed--I'm also one of those that wouldn't have considered the Himalayas for river-carved canyons. In retrospect, I don't know why--just ignorance, I guess. It'd be nice to find a photo shot straight down, top to bottom, of one of those monsters!
Posted Aug 3, 2006 10:49 pm

CrashmooreHells Canyon


Voted 10/10

I have never quite understood the claims about the depth of Hells Canyon. The Snake River there is at approx 1000' while He Devil in the Seven Devils (if that is where you are measuring to) is approx 9400'. That makes the total depth approx 8400'. Most of the numbers I have seen on the depth of the canyon are around 8000' (obviously shorter than many of the canyons mentioned above). However the regular rim for most of the canyon is much lower than the Seven Devils peaks making it a matter of where you measure from.
It is still a very impressive canyon and a favorite area of mine but it really has no claim on a world record.

Posted Aug 4, 2006 9:01 pm

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