Iron Mountain District, Utah
The Iron Mountain District near Cedar City was settled in the mid-19th century after the discovery of iron and subsequent establishment of mining operations. Iron is concentrated here due to both faulting 20 – 22 million years ago which cracked the limestone, and surging magma pressurized by the uplift. Continual reheating of the magma and further volcanic action caused the heavier metals within the magma to settle, allowing magnetite to collect together near the bottom where it stayed until a final surge of pressure expelled this iron through the sidewalls of the mountain range and injected it into the previously-formed spaces in the limestone. These iron veins are not uncommon but the exposed one that can be seen outside Cedar City is rare.
It is somewhat startling to be walking in the mountains over the crumbling limestone and come to the large hunk of metal but it is more than strange to find that a palm-sized piece of rock weighs nearly ten pounds. It was an neat place to explore to see and the setting was absolutely beautiful as well.