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Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness Area

Government information and links are at the bottom of this page.

Located in White River National Forest

Neighboring towns: Aspen, Woody Creek, Leadville, Twin Lakes, Norrie, Meredith

Rugged and unfrequented peaks oversee forested trout streams in this area north of Independence Pass.

Central Colorado's Hunter - Fryingpan Wilderness maintains a low profile, largely forgotten between the lofty heights of its neighbors, Collegiate Peaks and Maroon Bells - Snowmass wilderness areas. Dominated by rugged and unnamed peaks of the Williams Mountains, the valleys of Hunter - Fryingpan lead through dark spruce forests, past gurgling trout streams, to flower-covered alpine tundra. For those who rank solitude as the primary objective of wilderness sojourns, Hunter - Fryingpan provides abundant opportunities.

Here you'll find many of the unnamed and tortured peaks of the Williams Mountains. A rich forest of 8,300 acres along Spruce Creeek on the northwest side was added to the original Wilderness in 1993.

As its name implies, Hunter - Fryingpan includes the headwaters of the Fryingpan River and Hunter Creek as well as other tributaries of the Roaring Fork River. State wildlife officials have granted both rivers Gold Medal status and have placed catch restrictions in order to promote abundant numbers of large trout. High-mountain streams receive similar praise for their productive fisheries. Aspen forests thrive in the lower valleys, while old stands of Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir populate higher valleys, such as along Spruce Creek. These dark, primeval forests provide a haven for elk, mule deer, and possibly wilderness-dependent species such as lynx and pine marten.

Size: 81,866 acres

Elevation: 9,000 to 13,000 feet

Miles of trails: 50

Year designated: 1978, 1993

Hunting areas: 47, 48

For more information contact:

White River National Forest, 900 Grand Ave., PO Box 948, Glenwood Spgs, CO 81602  (970)945-2521  Fax:(970)945-3266  Supervisor's Office
Aspen District, 806 West Halam, Aspen, CO 81611  (970)925-3445  Fax:(970)925-5277  Aspen District
Blanco District, 317 East Market St., Meeker, CO 81641  (970)878-4039  Fax:(970)878-5173  Blanco District
Dillon District, 680 River Parkway, PO Box 620, Silverthorne, CO 80498  (970)468-5400  Fax:(970)468-7735  Dillon District
Eagle District, 125 West Fifth St., PO box 720, Eagle, CO 81631  (970)328-6388  Fax:(970)328-6448  Eagle District
Holy Cross District, 24747 US Hwy 24, PO Box 190, Minturn, CO 81645  (970)827-5715  Fax:(970)827-9343  Holy Cross District
Rifle District, 0094 County Rd 244, Rifle, CO 81650  (970)625-2371  Fax:(970)625-2532  Rifle District
Sopris District, 620 Main St., PO Box 309, Carbondale, CO 81623  (970)963-2266  Fax:(970)963-1012  Sopris District

Wilderness sunset

NOTE: coloradowilderness.com gratefully appreciates the eloquent descriptions of our wilderness areas provided by Mark Pearson, author of "The Complete Guide to Colorado's Wilderness Areas", Westcliffe Publishers, Englewood, CO. The book also contains many beautiful pictures by renowned photographer and Colorado resident John Fielder.


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