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Fossil Ridge Wilderness

Taylor River Ranger District- The Taylor River Ranger District encompasses the portion of the Gunnison National Forest north of Gunnison and Blue Mesa Reservoir. It includes the area around Crested Butte and the Taylor River drainage.

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General Information

Description - The 76,960 acres that comprise Fossil Ridge Wilderness lie far enough from any metro area to allow for an experience with more wildlife than humans. (This may be enough to entice many adventure seekers.) The region also portrays signs of a more active geologic time that put Fossil Ridge, consisting of limestone from the sea bottom, at 13,000 feet beside mountains of granite. The region centers upon two drainages, Crystal Creek and South Lottis Creek, that support many forms of wildlife.

Recreation - Due to the regions wilderness designation no mechanized or motorized vehicles are permitted. This is a wonderful area for horseback riding, hiking, backpacking and fishing. During the winter months visitors may enjoy snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and backcountry skiing through the varied terrain.

Climate - Weather for the area can vary greatly; but generally, you can expect a cool mountain climate with scattered rain showers throughout the summer months. Normally, the Fossil Ridge Wilderness area is snow free from July to September, but conditions depend on the elevation and amount of snowfall each winter. Lower elevations from around 7,000 to 8,500 feet may become snow free by early June, but some creek and river water levels tend to be high. The annual precipitation varies from 25 inches to 40 inches.

Location - Fossil Ridge Wilderness lies south of Taylor Park Reservoir and north of the towns of Pitkin, Parlin and Gunnison. It may be accessed by trailheads on Taylor River Road and Forest Road 771.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Gunnison National Forest, Taylor River/Cebolla Ranger District, 216 North Colorado , Gunnison, CO, 81230, Phone: 970-641-0471

Additional Information:
Colorado Wilderness Areas - Some of the most spectacular terrain in Colorado is preserved within Colorado's extensive system of Wilderness Areas.

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