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Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness

General Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Volunteer

Introduction

The United States Congress designated the Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness (map) in 1993 and it now has a total of 23,087 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Colorado and is managed by the Forest Service.

Description

Soaring dramatically from the plains of Colorado, Greenhorn Mountain rises from 7,600 to 12,347 feet in the center of the northern section. Its summit is the highest point in the Wilderness, and nowhere else in the state provides such a vivid and dramatic change from plains to mountains.

About two-thirds of the area is forested, and as you hike along, you'll pass quickly from dry oakbrush and ponderosa pine country (or pinion-juniper in some places) through aspen, fir, and spruce, and on to alpine tundra. Most of the east-facing slopes are steep, rocky, and generally bare. Unusual for Colorado, Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness has no lakes and no towering alpine peaks--and, consequently, few human visitors. Numerous small canyons and sharp ridges are the dominant geological features. A few streams descending from the mountain furnish a habitat for threatened greenback cutthroat trout. With relatively little snow, the area attracts bighorn sheep, elk, and mule deer.

Only 11 miles of trail cross the Wilderness, all in the northern half. The southern half, remote and rugged and waterless, probably has fewer human visitors than any other area of the state. If you're willing to brave the dense woodlands and rough topography, you'll find few places with as much solitude.

Planning to Visit the Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.



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