At almost 500,000 acres, the Weminuche Wilderness is Colorado’s widest and wildest wilderness area. It was designated as a wilderness area by the United States Congress in 1975, and more land was added to it in the Colorado Wilderness Acts of 1980 and 1993. The United States Forest Service manages the wilderness area as it is located within the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests, divided by the Continental Divide.
Undoubtedly, the most popular recreational activities in the Weminuche Wilderness are hiking and mountain climbing as elevations average out to over 10,000 feet. The Needle Mountains are an especially notable destination due to the fact that the wilderness’ three fourteener peaks, the Eolus, Windom, and Sunilght Peaks, can be found there in close proximity to one another. The Chicago Basin has become a favored campsite due to its closeness to these peaks and also its innate magnificence.
The Grenadier Range at the north of the Needle Mountains, on the other hand, is a testament to the harshness of the Weminuche Wilderness as these peaks are known to be daunting and imposing. Nevertheless, they are majestic to view and appreciate.
Mountaineering may be the thing to do in the Weminuche Wilderness but it is still strongly advised to tread with caution even if you are experienced. The fourteeners are difficult climbs and require a lot of planning in order to avoid accidents and injuries. Still, with its massive size, the Weminuche Wilderness will no doubt have something for everyone.
Address: near Durango
Season: Year round