Crazy Horse Creek
6,780 acres (10.6 square miles)
The proposed Crazy Horse Creek Wilderness occupies the northwestern portion of Piney Ridge, an arm of the Gore Range that divides Sheephorn Creek from Piney River. The area towers above the Colorado River, which lies less than a mile away. Several springs, including Cottonwood Mesa Spring, Blas Spring, and High Trail Gulch Spring, feed streams that flow down off Piney Ridge. The elevation in the area ranges from about 7,200 feet near the Colorado River to 10,300 feet on Piney Ridge. The large vertical relief supports a variety of vegetation types, with spruce/fir forests dominating the highlands on the ridge, with lodgepole pine and aspen in the drainages, and dry shrubby woodlands on the lower slopes.
What’s special about it
Wildlife: The proposed area supports large herds of elk and mule deer, and provides an important corridor between the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area and lower-elevation BLM and state-owned rangelands in the Kremmling area, and to the northern Gore Range and Flat Tops area.
Recreation: Use by hunters is quite heavy here in the autumn.
Motor recreation: The area is vulnerable to irresponsible and destructive off road vehicle use.
Logging: Significant lodgepole pine mortality as result of the current mountain pine beetle infestation has resulted in calls for salvage logging. Roads required for any timber treatments would cause soils damage, introducing noxious weeds, silt streams, usher in greatly expanded human uses, and generally destroy the important wilderness values that currently exist here.
In response to conversations with local outfitters and users, several boundary adjustments have been made to ensure continued motorized hunting access to select areas.
How to get there
The proposed Crazy Horse Creek Wilderness Area is about 13 miles NNE of Wolcott, and 2 miles east of State Bridge on the Colorado River.
- To access from the south, travel north from Wolcott on State Highway 131 for 11.2 miles and turn onto Eagle County Road (CR) 6A (Lower Piney Creek Road). After 2.5 miles, a minor unimproved road (FS 445) branches off left. This road is the eastern boundary of the area.
- To reach the northern portion of the area, continue north on Highway 131. At State Bridge (13.6 miles north of Wolcott), turn right onto Trough Road (CR 11). After 7.6 miles, turn south onto FS 445, described above.
- The USGS 7 1⁄2' quads for the proposed Lower Piney Wilderness Area are Lava Creek and Radium.