The Platte River Wilderness was designated as a Wilderness Area by the United States Congress in 1984. While the wilderness’ total size is over 23,000 acres, the land is actually divided between Colorado and Wyoming.
Wyoming contains approximately 22,500 acres while Colorado only contains over 700 acres. As such, the Platte River Wilderness is technically the smallest wilderness in Colorado in terms of landmass. The Colorado segment is located in the Routt National Forest and the entire wilderness is managed by the Forest Service.
National Wilderness Area
Recreational activities in the water are undeniably the thing to do in the Platte River Wilderness. The North Platte River which flows from Wyoming is a great place for whitewater rafting. Anglers are also in luck because aside from the Platte River, the wilderness also features Douglas Creek, both of which are stocked full of trout ready to be fished.
There aren’t many opportunities for the more adventurous hikers. Elevations in the wilderness average only about 7,700 feet and Platte Ridge is known for being rather flat. Most of the maintained hiking trails also follow the rivers rather than go up the mountains.
Although Colorado only has a small portion of the Platte River Wilderness, the entire wilderness is actually huge and expansive and provides many opportunities for recreational activities, especially those inclined towards water activities.