La Garita Wilderness
La Garita Wilderness spans 129,626 acres within Gunnison and Rio Grande National Forests in Colorado. La Garita is a Spanish name meaning the "the overlook." From the summit of this Wilderness's single fourteener peak (14,014ft San Luis Peak), climbers can observe the upper Rio Grande Valley and down the long stretch of the San Luis Valley.
About 35 miles of the Continental Divide lies above the forestland and provides habitat for large numbers of elk and mule deer during the warmer months. The southern slopes in Wason Park and Silver Park, added in 1993, maintain an ancient forest of towering spruce and fir. This Wilderness contains rushing streams, broad and gentle alpine meadows, beaver ponds, long talus slopes, and mountain vistas.
The Wheeler Geologic Area (Rio Grande National Forest) hides in the southeast corner of the Wilderness. It once claimed to be Colorado's most visited site and is probably the state's most unusual geological formation: fine, light-gray volcanic ash compressed into rock and wildly eroded into a striking series of domes, spires, caves, ledges, pinnacles, ravines, and balanced rocks.
Many trailheads open onto approximately 175 miles of trail, almost all well suited for horse-packing. About 27 miles of the Colorado Trail and Continental Divide National Scenic Trail follow the divide through La Garita Wilderness.
Parts of this Wilderness receive less use than others due to its remote location. Always use Leave No Trace techniques to help keep this area wild, clean, and pristine.