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Colorado > Colorado Wilderness Areas
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Colorado Wilderness Areas

Buffalo Peaks Wilderness
Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
Eagles Nest Wilderness
Flat Tops Wilderness
Fossil Ridge Wilderness
Greenhorn Wilderness
Holy Cross Wilderness (Eagle District Section)
Holy Cross Wilderness (Holy Cross District Section)
Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness
Indian Peaks Wilderness
La Garita Wilderness
Lizard Head Wilderness
Lost Creek Wilderness
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness
Mount Zirkel Wilderness
Mt. Evans Wilderness
Mt. Sneffels Wilderness
Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness
Raggeds Wilderness
Sangre de Cristo Wilderness
Sarvis Creek Wilderness
South San Juan Wilderness
Uncompahgre Wilderness
Weminuche Wilderness
West Elk Wilderness

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General Information

Trail Rider Pass looks over Snowmass Lake and can be reached by Geneva Lake Trail number1973
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Trail Rider Pass looks over Snowmass Lake and can be reached by Geneva Lake Trail number1973
Description - Over 3 million acres of wild lands have been appropriated as wilderness areas in Colorado. The United States Congress began designating these areas in 1964. The intention of the original wilderness bill was to preserve natural areas in which humans and civilization do not dominate the landscape. These are areas where humans are welcome to visit, but not reside. Wilderness areas are free of motorized and mechanized travel. A few are heavily used by recreationists, and are considering instigating permits to reduce human impact. In Colorado over 50 vehicle-use restricted areas exist.

Attractions - A few of the most popular Wilderness areas are the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Holy Cross Wilderness, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and Mt. Evans Wilderness. If your looking for the solitude avoid the regions mentioned above, and travel a bit further out of your way to enjoy some of the less crowded, but no less scenic, wilderness areas.

Recreation - Recreation in these spectacular wilderness areas is limited to non-mechanized and non-motorized activities, that include backpacking, horseback riding, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and mountaineering. It is extremely important that recreation enthusiasts take extra care to minimize their impact on the often fragile wilderness area. Visiting a wilderness area should be a very special occasion and not a daily occurrence. These areas are appropriated to support activities that help spur reflection of and offer relief from our increasingly mechanical society.

Climate - The climate in Colorado varies tremendously from hot dusty summer days on the plains and deserts to frigidly cold winter blizzards. Colorado is known for its thunderstorms which form over the Rocky Mountains and then head across the eastern plains. Lightning is a serious threat, particularly on mountain peaks. Summertime temperatures routinely reach 90 to 100 degrees on the plains and the 70 - 80 degrees in the mountains. Cool weather is always possible at night throughout Colorado, particularly at higher elevations. It is not uncommon to need both shorts and a jacket on the same day.

The winter routinely brings severe winter driving conditions with icy roads and limited visibility. Temperatures range from the 40s and 50s on the plains to well below zero in the mountains. Proper winter clothing and food is necessary to avoid hypothermia and one should be prepared to spend an unexpected night out if traveling in the backcountry or on the highways.

Location - Wilderness areas pervade the western two-thirds of Colorado. A few are very accessible and relatively close to major highways throughout the state. Many wilderness areas are located in the most inaccessible portions of the state. By definition these regions do not contain usable roads.

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Colorado - Colorado's varied geography ranges from plains to mountains to deserts and offers incredible winter and summer recreation activities.


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