Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon


SOLITARIO. The Solitario, a circular domal uplift with a nine-mile diameter, stands on the Presidio-Brewster county line between Fresno Creek on the west and Saltgrass Draw on the east (at 29°27' N, 103°49' W). It was formed when an igneous intrusion uplifted the dome several thousand feet, vented lava, collapsed the roof, and left a prominent rim of Cretaceous limestone. The collapsed dome is now a topographic depression drained by intermittent streams through three canyons in the rim called Lefthand Shutup, Lower Shutup, and Righthand Shutup. Four summits rise above the depression. Needle Peak (4,608 feet), Solitario Peak (4,786 feet), and Fresno Peak (5,131 feet) are located in Presidio County. Eagle Mountain (4,819 feet) is in Brewster County. The light reddish-brown to brown sand and rough pebbled ground support sparse grasses, cacti, and scrub brush. The Solitario stands on an isolated site and was named for the Spanish word meaning "lonely." In 1909 W. A. Robbins and S. H. Eaton found a lime rock in the Solitario which could be used in lithography. Although fine lithographic stones were available only by importation at the time, little use was made of the discovery.


Geology of the Big Bend Area and Solitario Dome, Texas (Midland: West Texas Geological Society, 1986). Geology of the Big Bend Area, Texas (Midland: West Texas Geological Society, 1965).

Julia Cauble Smith

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Julia Cauble Smith, "SOLITARIO," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.