Every time I drive Highway 50 west of Gunnison, through Curecanti National Recreation Area, I stop to take in the view of the Dillon Pinnacles. The formations are millions of years in the making.About 65 million years ago the landscaped was slowly uplifted by the Gunnison uplift and the Sawatch Range.
Geologists believe the Dillon Pinnacles began forming about 30-35 million years ago during a time of considerable volcanic activity. Repeated eruptions formed the West Elk Mountains and San Juan Mountains. The lava, mud flows, and rocks from exploding volcanic cones formed the breccia making up the Dillon Pinnacles.