We’ve all heard of Bigfoot or the Tommy knockers, but have you ever heard of the Slide Rock Bolter?
Colorado is full of rich history. We pride ourselves on our beautiful mountains and lush history that spans from Native culture, through the gold rush and further. But there is a small piece of Colorado lore that seems to have been overlooked - The Slide Rock Bolter.
A little background info on cryptids first - I have a bit of an obsession with cryptids around the world. If you’re not familiar with the concept of Cryptozoology, cryptids are creatures whose existence has yet to be - or otherwise cannot entirely be - proved or disproved by science. Mostly branching from folklore, cryptids include popular creatures such at the Rake, Nessie, and Bigfoot.
Now that we’re all clear let's get into the dangerous mountain monster - The Slide Rock Bolter.
You’ve probably heard of Bigfoot, Sasquatch and the Tommy knockers, but after surveying some Colorado natives no one has heard of the Slide Rock Bolter. This large, whale-like monster had been reportedly seen around the late 19th into the 20th centuries. Popular among lumberjacks and miners, this creature is truly unique - and through all of my personal cryptozoology research there isn’t any other creature like this in the WORLD.
Like I said, a Slide Rock Bolter is pretty strange. It is believed to live in the mountains of Colorado, but only lives where the slope was more than a 45 degree angle. The cryptid had an immense head, small eyes and huge mouth. The creature is described very similarly to a whale, with a flared tail that had enormous grabbing hooks at the end.
Super weird...But there’s more…
A Slide Rock Bolter would sit and wait, and wait, and wait, for a tourist or helpless creature below to cross it’s path. At the very last moment, the Slide Rock Bolter would release its tail (which was hooked to the mountain), and descend rapidly down the slope. With it’s wide open mouth, the beast would swallow everything that got in its path.
After the creature would swallow up (reportedly) whole parties of tourists in one scoop, it would use the hooks at the end of its tail to climb its way back up the mountain where it would sit and wait once again. Due to its large and powerful body, the Slide Rock Bolter would crack and destroy trees in its path - and is even supposedly responsible for the destruction of the mining town Rico.
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The story goes that a forest ranger, whose district covered areas between Ophir Peaks and the Lizard Head, came up with the brilliant idea to draw the Slide Rock Bolter out and destroy him. A dummy tourist was set up, complete with a Norfolk jacket and a guidebook to Colorado. The dummy was then filled with powder and fulminate caps and was put into view. Sure enough, the next day it attracted the attention of the bolter which had been hanging on the slope of Lizard Head for days. All in all, resulting explosion flattened half of the buildings in Rico, which were never rebuilt.
Pretty chilling, huh?
Currently there are no recent sightings of a Slide Rock Bolter. BUT there is plenty of evidence that they still might be around though. It's "tracks" so to speak are visible all over. There are also theories that it has evolved to adapt more to its surroundings, taking a more rock-like form. Many may say that it’s just a drunken lumberjacks explanation for a rock slide… although, if you’re like me, you like to believe anything is possible.