Eagles Nest Wilderness

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Eagles Nest Wilderness
Eagles Nest Wilderness Area.jpg
Eagles Nest Wilderness Area near Vail, Colorado
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Location Eagle/Summit counties, Colorado, United States
Nearest city Vail, CO
Coordinates 39°42′00″N106°15′00″W / 39.70000°N 106.25000°W / 39.70000; -106.25000 [1] Coordinates: 39°42′00″N106°15′00″W / 39.70000°N 106.25000°W / 39.70000; -106.25000 [2]
Area135,114 acres (546.79 km2) [3]
Established1978
Governing body U.S. Forest Service

The Eagles Nest Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located in the Gore Range near Vail, Copper Mountain, Frisco, Silverthorne, and Heeney, in Summit and Eagle Counties, Colorado. Eagles Nest Wilderness falls within the jurisdiction of Dillon Ranger District and Holy Cross Ranger District, White River National Forest. The 135,114-acre (546.79 km2) wilderness with 180 miles (290 km) of trails was established in 1976. In 2010, additional lands were proposed for wilderness protection under the Hidden Gems proposal, affecting Elliot Ridge, Tenmile, and Lower Piney areas of Summit and Eagle Counties.

The Eagles Nest Wilderness lies in the southern area of the Gore Range of mountains. The Gore Range was named in honor of Sir George Gore arising from a hunting expedition led by Jim Bridger (1804–1881), an early trapper and explorer of the Rocky Mountains. Bridger documented the Great Salt Lake in 1824 and guided westward settlers through Bridger Pass in 1850, shortening the Oregon Trail by 61 miles (98 km). In 1854, Sir George Gore hired Bridger as a hunting guide out of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The Gore expedition traveled through the central Colorado mountain range before heading north into the Yellowstone area. Gore practiced a policy of heavy treading on the land, hauling 30 wagons and more than 50 servants on his expedition of 6,000 miles. Gore shot thousands of large game animals during his guided tour of the mountains that extended into 1855.

Subsequently, the Gore Range became a site of interest to miners seeking gold and silver during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Many mine tailings and shallow digs exist throughout the Gore Range, including the former Boss Mine ruins along the Rock Creek Trail. The earliest rumors of gold in the area were based on trading with the local Ute people. Then, a member of the Gore expedition discovered gold in the area surrounding Piney Lake, near the present Upper Piney Lake Trail north of Vail. Lemuel Pollard, a member of the Bela M. Hughes party, discovered gold when passing through the Gore Range. Numerous other gold seekers left the slopes of the Gore Range pock-marked with diggings that remain part of the features of the landscape within the forest.

Hiking trails within the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area include Gore Range Trail, Buffalo Mountain Trail, South Willow Creek Trail, Rock Creek Trail, Cataract Lake Loop Trail, Mirror Lake Trail, Eaglesmere Lakes Trail, Tipperary Lake Trail, Salmon Willow Trail, Meadow Creek Trail, North Tenmile Creek Trail, Gore Creek Trail, Deluge Lake Trail, Booth Creek Trail, Upper Piney Lake Trail, Pitkin Creek Trail, Elliot Ridge Trail, and Wheeler Lakes Trail. [4]

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Meridian Peak is a mountain summit in the Gore Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,432-foot (3,789 m) peak is located in the Eagles Nest Wilderness, 9.0 miles (14.5 km) north by west of the Town of Vail, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating White River National Forest and Eagle County from Arapaho National Forest and Summit County.

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Mount Powell (Colorado)

Mount Powell is the highest summit of the Gore Range in the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent 13,586-foot (4,141 m) thirteener is located in the Eagles Nest Wilderness, 8.5 miles (13.7 km) north by east of the Town of Vail, Colorado, United States, along the drainage divide separating White River National Forest and Eagle County from Arapaho National Forest and Summit County. Mount Powell was named in honor of John Wesley Powell who climbed to the summit in 1868.

Fancy Creek Trail is a hiking trail in the northern Sawatch Range, part of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. state of Colorado. It is located in the Holy Cross Wilderness, south of Mount of the Holy Cross in Eagle County. Fancy Creek Trail is south of Interstate 70, west of Highway 24, south of Minturn, southwest of Vail and south of Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado.

References

  1. "Eagles Nest Wilderness". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  2. "Eagles Nest Wilderness". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  3. "Eagles Nest Wilderness". Wilderness Connect, University of Montana. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  4. Fenske, Kim (July 21, 2006). Greatest Hikes in Central Colorado: Summit and Eagle Counties. FenskeFoto. ISBN   978-1427601568.