Detailed antique overview map of central Colorado, extending from Denver, Longmont and St. Louis in the east to Rabbit Ears, Grand River Junction, and Eagle River in the west. Numerous towns are named, such as Boulder, and many peaks are shown including Longs Peak, Mt. Audubon, and Vasquez Peak. The map was produced in order to provide an up-to-date accounting of Hayden's important surveys of the American west and precedes the consolidation of his Colorado research into his 1877 Atlas.
This map centers on Middle Park, the central of Colorado's three large mountain valleys which line up in a northwest to southeast manner along the Range Front. North Park, the second of these three valleys, is visible in the upper left.
The Hayden Surveys is perhaps the largest and most well-known of the "Great Surveys," which were instrumental in mapping the American West. The primary purpose of the expeditions to the Rocky Mountains was to evaluate the geological and mineral content of the regions. In addition to his interest in western minerals, Hayden was also one of the first to see the West as a pristine preserve of nature which would later serve as a center for tourists. In 1871 Hayden made an expedition into the Yellowstone Geyser Region resulting in spectacular photographs taken by William H. Jackson. The Yellowstone expedition made Hayden famous, but perhaps his most important was the detailed exploration and mapping of Colorado. Here his teams worked through some of the most rugged country in the west to complete his masterful Geological and Geographical Atlas of Colorado, which would appear in 1877.
This map originally appeared in the Ninth Annual Report of the Geological and Geographical survey conducted by Hayden, and published in New York.