- Greenhorn Wilderness was established in 1993, encompasses 22,000 acres of land and is the southern spur of the Wet Mountains. Greenhorn Mountain is the highest peak in this small wilderness area, and the Wet Mountain Range, rising to 12,347 feet. The Wet Mountains are considered part of the Front Range and the area is sometimes referred to as the southern foothills.
Within Greenhorn Wilderness lies an interesting clash of ecosystems. The high plains meet the uplifted granite of the Rocky Mountains. The region has limited miles of maintained trail (11 miles), so don't plan your backpacking trip here. Do come for a day and enjoy the solitude and unique climate that allows hiking throughout the year.
Recreation - Three trails provide access for hiking and horseback riding in the Greenhorn Wilderness. No motorized or mechanized vehicles are permitted within any wilderness area.
Climate - The highest point in this area is Greenhorn Mountain, at an elevation of 12, 347 feet. Generally, heavy frost can be seen in September or early October. Intermittent heavy snows typically begin in late October and continue into April. The traditional beginning of the summer season in late May is often marked by wet snows, thunderstorms with small hail and cool nights. At elevations above 9,500 feet, depending on snowfall and the orientation of the site, snow drifts can linger in some areas into early July.
Summer is short and frost may occur anytime in high elevations. Annual temperature extremes range from 90 degrees in summer to 30 degrees below zero in winter. Rapid weather changes, with temperature changes of 40 degrees in periods as short as four to six hours, occur frequently.
The Greenhorn Wilderness is located in the southern San Isabel National Forest between the towns of Rye, Badito and Gardner. It is 20 miles southwest of Pueblo and six miles west of Interstate 25. Greenhorn Wilderness is part of the Wet Mountains and the Front Range; it is sometimes referred to as the southern foothills.