Wilderness Spotlight: Vasquez Peak
On Sept. 3, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law. Since then, four wilderness areas have been established in Grand County that are managed by the U.S. Forest Service’s Sulphur Ranger District.: Indian Peaks, Never Summer, Byers Peak and Vasquez Peak.
The 12,300-acre Vasquez Peak Wilderness Area was one of two wilderness areas created by the Colorado Wilderness Act of 1993. Seven miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail run across the alpine landscape, which also serves as headwaters to Vasquez Creek, an important water resource for Denver. During summers, large herds of elk graze in the high alpine tundra. Harsh winters bring fierce winds, creating a region of Krummholtz (stunted, twisted vegetation) and avalanche prone slopes. Hikers can explore 17 miles of trail (including Mt. Nystrom Trail and Vasquez Pass Trail) that provide an opportunity to venture above treeline and enjoy expansive views of the Fraser Valley.
Celebrate the Colorado Wilderness Act of 1993 at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at Church of the Eternal Hills, Tabernash. Learn about the vision that guided the legislative process required to accomplish this significant endeavor as well as insight on current legislative efforts involving wilderness areas in Colorado.
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