3,400 acres (5.3 square miles)
The area occupies steep, northwest-facing hillsides on the east side of lush Homestake Creek. These hillsides are densely-forested with spruce and fir. The elevation varies from 8,800 feet at Homestake Creek to 11,500 feet at the current Wilderness boundary.
What’s special about it
Ecology: This proposal area’s inaccessibility and ruggedness, adjacent to the Holy Cross Wilderness, has allowed it to retain wild and natural qualities. There are reports of impressive old-growth forest in the southern portion of the unit, near the current wilderness boundary. The area along Homestake Creek is critical wildlife habitat and contains many ponds and wetlands.
Wildlife migration: This area is also part of the regionally important wildlife movement corridor from the Holy Cross Wilderness to the Eagles Nest Wilderness. All connectivity across this significantly impaired region must be preserved so as to provide for wildlife movement along the spine of the southern Rockies. This includes elk and deer who have critical winter habitat in the area.
Timber sales (including salvage sales) in the No Name Road area are the primary threat to the wild character of this landscape.
Division of Wildlife habitat qualities, species of significance
Homestake has areas of rolling valleys to very steep slopes and high ridges containing spruce fir, mountain shrub, aspen, lodgepole pine, riparian habitat and grassland meadows. The area supports abundant wildlife: elk, deer, black bear, mountain lion, ptarmigan, blue grouse, pine martin, snowshoe hare, moose and lynx. Even with its high elevation, the area provides critical elk winter range, severe winter range and winter concentration areas. Moose have colonized the area on their own and use the area as year round habitat. In the summer, the area provides high quality elk habitat, summer range, production areas and migration corridors. Lynx have been documented here. The area is significant for its lack of roads and trails which provide excellent solitude for abundant wildlife.
The boundaries for this proposal have been adjusted to allow for continued operation of essential municipal water supply facilities and to allow for their possible expansion. The boundary between Homestake and No Name was also pulled back to allow motorized hunter access to Holy Cross Wilderness boundary.
The proposed Homestake Addition is one of ten roadless areas that surround the existing Holy Cross Wilderness. Together, they form a roadless complex of over 165,000 acres (257 square miles).
How to get there
The proposed Homestake Addition to the Holy Cross Wilderness is located 3 miles south of Red Cliff and west of Camp Hale. Access is from State Highway 24 between Leadville and Minturn.
- 3 miles south of Red Cliff, the improved Homestake Road (FS 703) leads to Holy Cross City and Homestake Reservoir. This road makes up the entire western boundary of this proposed Area.
- About one mile south of Homestake Rd on SH 24, turning west onto No Name Road (FS 705) will provide you with access to the eastern boundary.
- The USGS 7 1⁄2' quads for the proposed Homestake Wilderness Area are Mount of the Holy Cross and Pando.