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CORAZONES PEAKS

CORAZONES PEAKS. Corazones Peaks is a pair of extremely steep and jagged mountains on the northeast edge of the Christmas Mountains seventy miles south of Alpine in south central Brewster County (at 29°30' N, 103°26' W). The peaks are part of a series of residual topographic highs developed on a single large Tertiary Age igneous intrusion into the Upper Cretaceous Boquillas formation. Their summits are about 1½ miles apart on an east-west line and rise in forbidding, near-vertical rock faces and broken inclines some 1,500 feet above the surrounding desert floor. At its summit the western peak reaches an elevation of 5,319 feet above sea level and the eastern peak 5,045 feet above sea level.

The peaks owe their high topography to the fact that they consist of rather dense, resistant igneous rocks, while the surrounding terrain is composed of the less resistant, flaggy Boquillas limestone, which is removed during weathering and erosion. Although the peaks themselves, especially at their upper elevations, are almost entirely bare rock, the lower slopes and the surrounding desert lowland support a sparse growth of Chihuahuan Desert scrub, including such characteristic species as lechuguilla, creosote bush, ocotillo, and sotol. The origin of the name Corazones ("hearts") is obscure. A popular explanation is that a cleft in one of the mountains makes it resemble a heart.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Virginia Madison and Hallie Stillwell, How Come It's Called That? Place Names in the Big Bend Country (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1958).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "Corazones Peaks," accessed September 25, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rjc52.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.