1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

Geology of the Sutter Buttes, California

By

The Sutter Buttes aren't typical flat-topped buttes, but instead are lava domes. They are what old-timers would have called sugarloaf mountains, but butte is the correct term for these steep-sided hills. The locals today sometimes call Sutter Buttes "the world's smallest mountain range." The Buttes sit in mysterious isolation in the middle of the flat Sacramento Valley, a magnet for the native peoples but a puzzle to generations of geologists (see the Buttes from space). Access to this privately owned area is largely controlled by the Middle Mountain Foundation, under whose auspices I visited the Buttes in April 2007 (some photos are from a drive-by in September 2009). The Yuba Historical Society also sponsors walks in parts of the Buttes.
Images 1-12 of 27
Where it isSutter Buttes Index MapSynoptic viewSutter Buttes Aerial PhotoTantalizing sightSutter Buttes from the GroundSurrounded by farmsFarm North of Sutter Buttes
Unspoiled farmlandWest Side of the ButtesA fairytale peakSouth ButteEquipped for outdoorsField Geologists on TourInformally displayedGeologic Map of the Sutter Buttes
Ol' rocky topNorth ButteHard at workAndesite BoulderA typical chunkGray Andesite Hand SpecimenFull of hornblendeRed Andesite Hand Specimen

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.