Indian Peaks Wilderness Area
Government information and links are at the bottom of this page.
Located in Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests
Neighboring towns: Nederland, Boulder, Granby, Tabernash, Grand Lake, Allenspark, Raymond, Peaceful Valley, Ward, Fraser, Winter Park, Eldora
Serrated ridges and jagged peaks characterize the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The range is easily identifiable from the Denver area, its sawtooth profile running south from massive, blocky Longs Peak too the rounded hump of James Peak. The granite peaks, a continuation of a mountainous landscape that begins in Rocky Mountain National Park, owe their dramatic sculpted form to the action of glaciers. Indian Peaks contains a handful of remnant glaciers, considered by some to be the southernmost permanent glaciers in North America. Below these ice fields, most valleys contain other glacial remnants - turquoise lakes that formed in moraines (rock debris left by retreating glaciers) or in depressions created as glaciers scoured rock and earth. Nearly 50 such lakes dot the Indian Peaks, many just a short distance from readily accessible trailheads.
Fall brings with it a striking display of golden and crimson colors as willows and tundra grasses highlight the stark gray peaks of the range. Because of its popularity and its fragile alpine landscape, Indian Peaks has more restrictions than other wilderness areas in Colorado.
Campfires are not permitted in the eastern portion and around lakes. The Continental Divide runs close to the center of the Wilderness, and pathways lead over several high passes. Rocky Mountain National Park to the north contains 2,922 acres of Indian Peaks Wilderness, where a free park backcountry permit is required for assigned campsites.
Backcountry permits are required for overnight camping between June 1 and September 15. Quotas are in place during peak season for areas within the wilderness area.
Size: 76,486 acres
Elevation: 8,400 to 13,502 feet
Miles of trails: 110
Year designated: 1978,1980
Hunting areas: 28, 29
For more information contact:
Nederland Chamber of Commerce - Nederland is known to many as "The Gateway
to the Indian Peaks"
Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth St., Boulder, CO 80301 303-541-2500
Sulphur Ranger District, PO Box 10, Granby, CO 80446 (970)887-4100 Sulphur District
NOTE: 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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