The United States Congress designated the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness (map
) in 1978 and it now has a total of 82,026 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Colorado
and is managed by the Forest Service.
The Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness is bordered by
the Mount Massive Wilderness
to the east.
Snuggled in between the more spectacular Colorado Wildernesses of Holy Cross on the north, Maroon Bells-Snowmass on the west, and Collegiate Peaks on the south, Hunter-Fryingpan lies all but forgotten. It rises to the Continental Divide, sharing its eastern border and the divide with Mount Massive Wilderness. The two are one geographically speaking, and almost became one legislatively. Holding the headwaters of Hunter Creek and the Fryingpan River, many streams in this area provide excellent habitats for large numbers of trout. Here you'll find many of the unnamed and tortured peaks of the Williams Mountains. Forests of aspen in the lower elevations, as well as spruce and fir higher up, are thick and dark, and open on alpine tundra dappled colorfully with summer wildflowers. In the silence of this Wilderness, you'll probably see wildlife that includes elk, mule deer, and secretive smaller, fur-bearing animals. A rich forest of 8,300 acres along Spruce Creek on the northwest side was added to the original Wilderness in 1993.
About 65 miles of trail cross the area, climbing up drainages into the Williams Mountains. The Lost Man Trail up Lost Man Creek crosses South Fork Pass and continues down the South Fork of the Fryingpan River (about 10 miles distance), providing access to the heart of the Wilderness. Many opportunities for solitude exist here.