Red Mountain Park Geology

Slanted Strata
- Photo Credit: Francesca Gross
Blocks of discarded iron-stained sandstone
- Photo Credit: R. Scot Duncan
Cuts in the slope reveal openings to mine shafts
- Photo Credit: R. Scot Duncan
R.Scot Duncan
Fragments of Fort Payne Chert in trail
Iron-stained sandstone on Red Mountain Formation
- Photo Credit: R. Scot Duncan
Purple-brown soil on Red Mountain Formation
- Photo Credit: R. Scot Duncan
Slope cut reveals layers of the Red Mountain Formation
- Photo Credit: R. Scot Duncan
Weathered sandstone boulder from the ridge
- Photo Credit: R. Scot Duncan

Red Mountain is composed of several distinct rock formations. All have been uplifted and tilt up and toward the northwest. The Chickamauga Limestone is the oldest of these formations and makes up most of the northwestern face of the mountain.  Along the ridge and down part of the southeastern face is the Red Mountain Formation. This layer holds the thick bands of hematite (iron ore), that were the target of the mining. At the base of the southeastern face of the mountain is the Fort Payne Chert. You can recognize these rocks easily by their orange and light gray colors. Running parallel to Red Mountain is Little Sandstone Ridge, a line of hills composed of the Hartselle Sandstone, the youngest rock in the park. Learn more about these rocks and how they formed here.