|Eagles Nest Wilderness|
|Location||Eagle/Summit counties, Colorado, United States|
|Nearest city||Vail, CO|
|Area||135,114 acres (546.79 km2)|
|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.
Eagle County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 52,197. The county seat is the Town of Eagle and the most populous community is Edwards. The county is named for the Eagle River.
Minturn is a home rule municipality in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 1,027 at the 2010 United States Census.
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is a United States National Scenic Trail with a length measured by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition of 3,028 miles (4,873 km) between the U.S. border with Chihuahua, Mexico and the border with Alberta, Canada. Frequent route changes and a large number of alternate routes result in the actual hiking distance to be between 2,700 miles (4,300 km) and 3,150 miles (5,070 km). The CDT follows the Continental Divide of the Americas along the Rocky Mountains and traverses five U.S. states — Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. In Montana near the Canadian border the trail crosses Triple Divide Pass (near Triple Divide Peak, from which waters may flow to either the Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean or Pacific Ocean.
Mount of the Holy Cross is a high and prominent mountain summit in the northern Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,011-foot (4270.5 m) fourteener is located in the Holy Cross Wilderness of White River National Forest, 6.6 miles (10.7 km) west-southwest of the Town of Red Cliff in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. The summit of Mount of the Holy Cross is the highest point in Eagle County and the northern Sawatch Range.
Vail Pass is a 10,666-foot-high (3,251 m) mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado. The pass was named for Charles Vail, a highway engineer and director of the Colorado State Highway Department from 1930 to 1945.
The Gore Range is a mountain range in the Rocky Mountains of north central Colorado in the United States.
Gore Creek is a tributary of the Eagle River, approximately 18.5 miles (29.8 km) long, in Eagle County in central Colorado in the United States. It drains an area of the Rocky Mountains at the south end of the Gore Range through Gore Valley. It rises on the Eagle County-Summit County border along the high crest of the Gore Range, in the White River National Forest, approximately 4 miles (6 km) north of Vail Pass, descending to the west through a narrow gorge, receiving Black Gore Creek from the south. Downstream of this confluence, it runs alongside the route of U.S. Highway 6 and Interstate 70. It flows through Vail and joins the Eagle River from the east, approximately 3 miles (5 km) west of Vail.
The Powderhorn Wilderness is a 62,050-acre (251.1 km2) wilderness area in Hinsdale and Gunnison Counties, Colorado, USA, located 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of Lake City. Most of the northern part of the area, 48,115 acres (194.71 km2), about 77.5%, is located on Bureau of Land Management land and its southern portion, 13,935 acres (56.39 km2), about 22.5%, is located within the Gunnison National Forest. Elevations in the wilderness range from 8,500 feet (2,600 m) at the West Fork Powderhorn Creek to 12,661 feet (3,859 m) at the summit of Calf Creek Plateau.
White River National Forest is a National Forest in northwest Colorado. It is named after the White River that passes through its northern section. It is the most visited National Forest in the United States, primarily from users of the twelve ski areas within its boundaries.
Bridger–Teton National Forest is located in western Wyoming, United States. The forest consists of 3.4 million acres (14,000 km2), making it the third largest National Forest outside Alaska. The forest stretches from Yellowstone National Park, along the eastern boundary of Grand Teton National Park and from there rides along the western slope of the Continental Divide to the southern end of the Wind River Range. The forest also extends southward encompassing the Salt River Range and Wyoming Range mountains near the Idaho border.
Copper Mountain is a mountain and ski resort located in Summit County, Colorado, about 75 miles (120 km) west of Denver on Interstate 70. The resort has 2,465 acres of in-bounds terrain under lease from the U.S. Forest Service, White River National Forest, Dillon Ranger District. It is operated by POWDR.
The Ochoco Mountains are a mountain range in central Oregon in the United States, located at the western end of the Blue Mountains. They were formed when Permian, Triassic, and Jurassic rocks were slowly uplifted by volcanic eruptions to form the Clarno Formation. Today, the highest point in the range is Lookout Mountain. The dominant vegetation on the west side of the range is old-growth ponderosa pine; on the east side, western juniper is common. The western area of the mountains is administered by the Ochoco National Forest, while the southeastern section is part of the Malheur National Forest. The Ochoco Mountains are used for hiking, camping, bird watching, rockhounding, and hunting, as well as cross-country skiing in the winter.
The Holy Cross Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located in San Isabel and White River national forests near Leadville, Minturn, Avon, Edwards, Eagle, and Vail, Colorado. The 122,797-acre (496.94 km2) wilderness with 164 miles (264 km) of trails was established in 1980. The wilderness was named after its highest peak, 14,005-foot (4,269 m) Mount of the Holy Cross.
Green Mountain Reservoir Trail is in the northern Gore Range, part of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. state of Colorado. It is located among the developed campgrounds along the shore of Green Mountain Reservoir, Summit County. Green Mountain Reservoir is north of Interstate 70, west of Highway 9, north of Silverthorne and near Heeney. Green Mountain projects skyward at the north end of Green Mountain Reservoir, with an escarpment that may interest rock climbers and abandoned mines that place the area in historical context. Below the peak, the surrounding hills are high desert, covered in sagebrush. Among the sagebrush, many wildflowers bloom. Green Mountain Trail winds through sagebrush fields among the campsites on the eastern shore of Green Mountain Reservoir. Wildflowers that may be found in late spring include buttercup, mountain ball cactus, moss campion, Wyoming paintbrush Castilleja and alpine phlox. Greatest Hikes in Central Colorado: Summit and Eagle Counties, a hiking guide by Kim Fenske, provides a description of Green Mountain Reservoir Trail.
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.
Deer Creek Trail lies along the Continental Divide of the Americas, part of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. state of Colorado. It is located in the White River National Forest, Summit County. Deer Creek Trail is south of Colorado Highway 6, east of Keystone Resort and near Montezuma.
Mount Sniktau is a high mountain summit in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,240-foot (4,036 m) thirteener is located in Arapaho National Forest, 1.6 miles (2.5 km) northeast of Loveland Pass in Clear Creek County, Colorado, United States.
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.