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Backpacker Magazine – June 2009

America's Newest Wilderness

A quick guide to the best acres, trails, and views.

by: Charlie Wood

Spring Basin Wilderness (Doug Steakley)
Spring Basin Wilderness (Doug Steakley)
Rocky Mountain (Jim Davis/Onda.org)
Rocky Mountain (Jim Davis/Onda.org)
Washington County (Jim Dohms)
Washington County (Jim Dohms)

Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness
Land protected 249,339 acres within RMNP(95 percent of the park)
Natural wonder The endangered pika
Champion Colorado Environmental Coalition (ourcolorado.org)
See it now From the Wild Basin trailhead, take Wild Basin Trail to Calypso Cascades Trail. The 4.9-mile out-and-back passes falls and alpine lakes.
Info: nps.gov/rmnp

Dominguez Canyon Wilderness
Land protected 66,280 acres of redrock
Natural wonder Jurassic-era fossils (including pieces of Ultrasaurus, the largest dinosaur ever discovered)
Champion Colorado Environmental Coalition (ourcolorado.org)
See it now Take the Dominguez Trail from the Gunnison River two miles to the confluence of Big and Little Dominguez Creeks to see petroglyphs and falls.
Info: blm.gov/co




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READERS COMMENTS

Joel Hauschild
Apr 05, 2012

Calypso Cascades

The RMNP trail does go by falls and follows a mountain stream. But there are no lakes between the trail head and the cascades. You have to hike another 2-4 miles before you will see a lake. It is a high traffic wilderness area. Nothing like the other parts in the park.

Not true
Apr 05, 2012

Not true rather

Not true
Apr 05, 2012

At least not in Idaho/Utah, wilderness does mean all roads closed, and Zero motorized vehicles,period. Been air traffic is restricted. You hardly see anyone a couple miles in, and 20 miles in, forget it, it's wild life. Absolutely true for national parks though, as they make it easy for campers and such.

wayne gould
Apr 05, 2012

The best way to protect wildlife habitat is to close all roads and re-plant them. Once it is deemed a wilderness area it is sure to have excessive human visitation.

wayne gould
Apr 05, 2012

The best way to protect wildlife habitat is to close all roads and re-plant them. Once it is deemed a wilderness area it is sure to have excessive human visitation.

Anonymous
Feb 24, 2011

One of the surest ways I know to increase people in an area is to designate it 'wilderness.'

Doug Welker
Feb 24, 2011

The correct link for the West Virginia Wilderness Coalition is www.wvwild.org, NOT www.wvwild.com.

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