The Tooth of Time is an igneous intrusion of dacite porphyry formed in the Tertiary period of the Cenozoic era some 12-20 million years ago. The Tooth is located five miles southwest of Cimarron, New Mexico and is on the property of Philmont Scout Ranch.
The Tooth rises prominently from the valley floor, some 2,500 feet below, creating a sheer vertical face unable to support substantial plant life. Both its pinkish-gray color and its unusual shape make it a particularly notable geological landmark. It was well-known among the overland traders on the Santa Fe Trail, who used it to mark the final three week push to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The Tooth was formed when magma from the Earth's mantle rose through older rock layers via convection and slowly cooled. Over many thousands of years, the older sedimentary rock eroded and left the harder igneous formation. The sedimentary rock acted as a mold for the intrusive magma, causing it to harden and cool where the sedimentary rock was strongest.
The Tooth Ridge Camp sits immediately beneath The Tooth of Time.
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