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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)

Utah

Washington County Growth and Conservation
Land protected 256,338 acres, including 124,406 inside Zion NP
Natural wonder The Virgin River
Champion Washington County (washco.utah.gov)
See it now From Weeping Rock trailhead, hike 6.3 miles through Echo Canyon to Observation Point.
Info: nps.gov/zion

Michigan


Beaver Basin Wilderness
Land protected 11,740 acres within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Natural wonder Chapel Rock
Champion Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (nps.gov/piro)
See it now Hike 2.5 miles from Chapel Road through stunted pine and white sand to stand beneath Chapel Rock's towering sandstone.
Info: (nps.gov/piro)

New Mexico

Sabinoso Wilderness
Land protected 16,030 acres of canyons, cliffs, and pines
Natural Wonder 1,000-foot-deep Cañon Largo
Champion NM Wilderness Alliance (nmwild.org)
See it now Public access is TBD (currently, no official trails exist). Check with the Bureau of Land Management's Taos field office for updates about their ongoing public access plan.
Info: blm.gov/nm




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Reader Rating: -

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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