La Garita Wilderness

Located in the Gunnison and Rio Grande National Forests in Colorado.

The La Garita Wilderness encompasses 103,986 acres on the Gunnison and Rio Grande National Forests. "La Garita" means "The Overlook". Elevations within the wilderness range from 9,000 to over 14,000 feet. Over 170 miles of constructed trails are available for both foot and horse travel through sometimes rugged terrain.

Weather for the area can vary greatly; but generally you can expect a cool mountain climate with scattered rain showers throughout the summer months. Normally, the La Garita area is snow free from mid-July to September, but conditions depend on the elevation and the amount of snowfall each winter. Lower elevations from around 9,000 to 10,000 feet may become snow free by early June, but some creek and river levels will still be high. The annual precipitation varies from 25" to 40".

Some points of interest in the La Garita Wilderness are San Louis Peak (14,014 feet high), Machin Lake, Mineral Creek, Organ Mountain, Stewart Peak, Baldy Cinco and Baldy Alto. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail run through the area along its southern boundary.

Wildlife includes elk, mule deer, black beer, bobcat, mountain lion, coyote, snowshoe hares, Golden Eagle and other small species. Streams are inhabited by cutthroat, rainbow, brook and brown trout.

Trips in the Wilderness

Adventures Afoot - Wilderness backpacking, backcountry skiing, and snow-shoeing in the Rocky Mountains. Stress-free vacations for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.

For more information contact: The Gunnison or Rio Grande National Forests

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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