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Uncompahgre Wilderness

General Location Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning

General Trip Planning Information

The American Flats area is characterized mostly by gently rolling hills of alpine vegetation. A portion of the area also contains steeper alpine mountain ridges with associated drainages. American Lake lies close to the center of the area.

Recreational Opportunities

Recreational opportunities include hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and limited fishing. Hiking is easy to moderate and the scenery lends itself nicely to photography.

Climate and Special Equipment Needs

American Flats is usually accessible from late July through late September. Temperatures range from the low 30s at night to the mid 70s in the daytime. Afternoon showers are common and often severe and snow is possible any time of the year.

Safety and Current Conditions

Because the area is very open and exposed (elevations range from about 11,200 to 13,300 feet), it is advisable to carry rain gear at all times and to hike early in the day and vacate the area early in the afternoon to avoid lightning strikes. Be sure to carry plenty of food and water, map and compass (and know how to use them), and let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Drink water often to avoid altitude sickness and do not over exert yourself.

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