US-Parks.com: America's National Parks and Road Trip Planning Find Your Park Road Trip Activities Nature

Mesa Verde National Park Point Lookout

Near the park entrance, it is nearly 8000 feet in elevation.

The cliffs above you are Point Lookout Sandstone. This formation was deposited on top of the Mancos shale in shallow water barrier beaches and sand bars while the sea temporarily retreated. Point Lookout, a very resistant sandstone, is visible as a band of white cliffs along the North Rim of Mesa Verde and in the cap rock of the mesas and buttes surrounding Morefield Campground. When erosion wears away this protective sandstone, the underlying soft shales of the Mancos Formation gully rapidly.

Today, as you look at Point Lookout, you may see white patches on the shale slopes. These are deposits left when water carrying various minerals evaporated at the surface of the slope. Calcium carbonate (lime) and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) are commonly found in these deposits.

Featured Outdoor Gear

$300
Designed for do-it-all versatility, the 686 GLCR Gore-Tex Paclite Multi Shell Jacket is your new trail to town to train...
Price subject to change | Available through Backcountry.com

National Park Spotlight
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Featured Wildlife
Maine Puffins
Maine Puffins


Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.