La Veta rests near the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Range. The dominant local features in the area are the Spanish Peaks, which represent a separate and more recent geologic event than the Sangres. The Cucharas River slices through the valley, as do volcanic dikes.
Volcanic dikes are thin bodies of igneous rock that are formed when liquid magma fills vertical joints in existing rocks. The resulting volcanic rock is typically more resistant to erosion and remains in place long after the surrounding rocks have eroded. An excellent example of a dike, named the Devil’s Staircase, is located near numerous properties Palmer Land Trust has protected. These dikes are among the most distinctive geologic and scenic features in south-central Colorado. The dikes stretching out from the Spanish Peaks range from just a few hundred feet to over fourteen miles in length.
Below are a few examples of important properties Palmer has protected to date in the La Veta area: