Platte River Wilderness

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Platte River Wilderness
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
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Location Carbon / Albany counties, Wyoming / Jackson County, Colorado, USA
Nearest city Rawlins, WY
Coordinates 41°05′N106°21′W / 41.083°N 106.350°W / 41.083; -106.350 Coordinates: 41°05′N106°21′W / 41.083°N 106.350°W / 41.083; -106.350 [1]
Area23,492 acres (95.07 km2)
Governing body U.S. Forest Service

The Platte River Wilderness is primarily located in south central Wyoming, with a small section extending into Colorado in the United States. Located entirely within Medicine Bow - Routt National Forest, the wilderness was created in 1984 to protect the forestlands adjacent to the North Platte River. These forestlands were almost entirely consumed by the Mullen Fire in 2020. [2]

The Wyoming section lies within the original Medicine Bow National Forest, whereas the Colorado section is in the original Routt National Forest; since 1995 these have been administratively combined. [3] [4] [5] [6]

U.S. Wilderness Areas do not allow motorized or mechanized vehicles, including bicycles. Although camping and fishing are allowed with proper permit, no roads or buildings are constructed and there is also no logging or mining, in compliance with the 1964 Wilderness Act. Wilderness areas within National Forests and Bureau of Land Management areas also allow hunting in season. [7]

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North Platte River

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Laramie Mountains

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Park Range (Colorado)

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Lost Creek Wilderness

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Flat Tops Wilderness Area

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Medicine Bow–Routt National Forest

Medicine Bow–Routt National Forest is the official title to a U.S. Forest Service managed area extending over 2,222,313 acres (8,993.38 km2) in the states of Wyoming and Colorado, United States. What were once three separate areas, Medicine Bow National Forest, Routt National Forest, and Thunder Basin National Grassland were administratively combined in 1995 due to similarity of the resources, proximity to each other and for administrative purposes.

Popo Agie Wilderness

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Fitzpatrick Wilderness

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Cloud Peak Wilderness

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Encampment River Wilderness

The Encampment River Wilderness is a designated wilderness area located in south central Wyoming in the United States. Entirely within Medicine Bow National Forest, the wilderness was designated to increase protection of the Encampment River and the canyon through which it flows.

Huston Park Wilderness

The Huston Park Wilderness is located in south central Wyoming in the United States. Entirely within Medicine Bow National Forest, the wilderness was designated in 1984 to preserve the northernmost section of the central Rocky Mountains, an area of high mountain peaks and coniferous forest.

Savage Run Wilderness

The Savage Run Wilderness is located in south central Wyoming in the United States. Entirely within Medicine Bow National Forest, the wilderness was designated in 1978 in an effort to protect vital rangeland for a large elk population.

Winegar Hole Wilderness

The Winegar Hole Wilderness is located in the U.S. state of Wyoming. Designated wilderness by Congress in 1984, the wilderness is within Caribou-Targhee National Forest and borders Yellowstone National Park. The wilderness was created to further protect what is considered to be prime grizzly bear habitat. The wilderness is an integral part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Rawah Wilderness

The Rawah Wilderness is administered by the USDA Forest Service. It is located on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado, near the Wyoming border, and also in the Routt National Forest to its south. It encompasses 76,394 acres (309.16 km2) and includes 25 named lakes ranging in size from five to 39 acres. There are 85 miles (137 km) of trails in the area and elevation ranges from 8,400 feet (2,600 m) to 13,000 feet (4,000 m). Much of the area is traversed by the Medicine Bow Mountains and the Rawah Range for which it is named. The temperature in the Rawah Wilderness ranges from a low of 5 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter and a high of 77 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer.

Mount Massive Wilderness

The Mount Massive Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area in the Sawatch Range, located in the U.S. state of Colorado. It is operated jointly by the United States Forest Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the San Isabel National Forest and the Leadville National Fish Hatchery. It is 30,540 acres (123.6 km2) in size, with 27,980 acres (113.2 km2) in San Isabel National Forest and 2,560 acres (10.4 km2) in Leadville National Fish Hatchery, and it was designated by the US Congress in 1980. The name comes from Mount Massive, the second highest peak in Colorado, located inside the wilderness. Elevations in the wilderness range from 9,700 feet (3,000 m) to 14,421 feet (4,396 m). It is the only federally designated wilderness area within the National Fish Hatchery System.

Clark Peak (Medicine Bow Mountains)

Clark Peak is the highest summit of the Medicine Bow Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent 12,960-foot (3,950 m) peak is located in the Rawah Wilderness of Routt National Forest, 6.3 miles (10.1 km) north-northwest of Cameron Pass, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide between Jackson and Larimer counties. Clark Peak is the highest point of Jackson County and the entire drainage basin of the North Platte River.

Sierra Madre Range (Wyoming)

The Sierra Madre Range is a mountain range in the western United States, located in south-central Wyoming and north-central Colorado. Geologically, it may be considered an extension of the Park Range of Colorado. South of the Great Divide Basin, the US Continental Divide runs along the Sierre Madre high points. Its western basins drain into the Colorado River and its eastern into the North Platte River. Buck Mountain is the highest peak in the range and lies within Colorado. Bridger Peak is its highest elevation on the Wyoming side of the range.

Roaring Fork Little Snake River is a 12.0-mile-long (19.3 km) tributary of the Little Snake River in Colorado and Wyoming. It flows from a source in the Medicine Bow National Forest of Carbon County, Wyoming to a confluence with the Little Snake River in Routt County, Colorado.


  1. "Platte River Wilderness". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  2. "Mullen Fire Information - InciWeb the Incident Information System". Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  3. "Platte River Wilderness". Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  4. "Platte River Wilderness". Public Lands Information Center. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  5. "Platte River Wilderness Area". Colorado Wilderness. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  6. "USGS Horatio Rock (WY,CO) Topo Map Quad" (map). TopoQuest. Retrieved June 30, 2008.
  7. "Wilderness Legislation: The Wilderness Act of 1964". The National Wilderness Preservation System. Retrieved August 16, 2008.