Take a walk to an alpine lake in the Powderhorn Wilderness Area near Lake City, Colorado on July 12th! Join a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) representative for a guided hike to this beautiful lake to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
The Wilderness Act was signed into law on September 3, 1964 by President Johnson to set aside portions of our public lands for the use and benefit of the American people. From the original nine million acres, this system of wilderness lands has grown in fifty years to over 100 million acres. These lands were preserved to retain their original characteristics, “where the earth and its communities of life are left unchanged by people, where the primary forces of nature are in control, and where people themselves are visitors who do not remain.”
In Colorado, the BLM manages five designated wilderness areas, and 48 wilderness study areas. The Gunnison Field Office has two wilderness areas and four wilderness study areas within its management area. The Powderhorn Wilderness consists of 62,250 acres, of which 47,980 are managed by the BLM.
Participants should plan to meet at 9 A.M. at the Powderhorn Lakes trailhead. To get there from Gunnison travel nine miles west of town on US Hwy 50 and turn south on Hwy 149. Follow this highway for 20 miles to the Indian Creek Road (County Road 58), and travel south on this road for 10 miles. This road is passable for 2-wheel drive vehicles, but can be rough.
From here we will hike 4.5 miles (one-way) to Upper Powderhorn Lake. The trail climbs about 750′ through a spruce/fir forest for the first couple of miles to a large meadow where wildflowers should be in full bloom. From here it traverses generally south for 2 miles across several drainages to the lower lake, and then over the next half mile climbs another couple hundred feet to the upper lake at 11,859′. Wildlife that may be encountered includes deer, elk and moose, as well as expected species of birds and small mammals.
Bring a sack lunch, plenty of water, sunscreen, insect repellent and clothing appropriate for adverse weather. After lunch at the lake, participants will be free to explore on their own and return to the trailhead at their own leisure. The number of participants is limited to 15 people, so please call (970) 642-4964 or 642-4942 to reserve a spot.
To learn more about the Wilderness Act go to http://www.wilderness.net