Free guided hikes explore lands proposed for protection in CORE Act |

Free guided hikes explore lands proposed for protection in CORE Act

From left, Mike Greenwood, Sen. Michael Bennet and Craig Caulder tour Camp Hale on Saturday to promote Bennet’s Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, which would designate the former World War II-era military training camp as the first-ever National Historic Landscape.
Chris Dillmann |

Wilderness Workshop, a regional nonprofit dedicated to preserving and protecting public lands, will offer exciting, free, guided hikes in the Vail area this summer. Several hikes lead into areas included in the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, passed by the U.S. House last year and awaiting hearings in the U.S. Senate. The CORE Act would protect 400,000 acres across Colorado, including nearly 100,000 acres in Eagle County. Discover new places, learn from experts, and look at the future for the lands we all value. 

The scheduled hikes are:

Sunday, July 19, Camp Hale Field Trip. Tour Pando Valley where the US Army once housed 10,000 personnel, 4,000 mules and 250 sled dogs during World War II. This 28,000-acre area is proposed as our nation’s first National Historic Landscape in the CORE Act. This will be a leisurely, flat walk/drive (5 miles total at 9,300 feet) around the former post, with frequent stops to learn about the history of the camp; its impact during WWII, and on today’s ski industry. The tour includes the 10th Mountain Memorial, Eagle River headwaters, Field House ruins, rock climbing wall, ski hill, rifle range and the intersection of the Colorado Trail.

Wednesday, July 29, Spraddle Creek: This is a proposed addition to Eagle’s Nest Wilderness Area. Join author, activist, and nature-based coach Susie Kincade to explore one of the last roadless areas near Vail. Susie will guide you on the trail and enrich the experience by offering practices in “forest bathing” for working with nature to renew body, mind and spirit. Learn about the value of wilderness as a prime economic driver in Colorado, and about wild nature’s role in rejuvenating the human brain and body. Moderate 6-mile loop rises 1,200 feet from 8,150 feet, 9 a.m. start.  

Sunday, Aug. 2, Homestake Ridge. Explore the CORE Act’s proposed addition to Holy Cross Wilderness Area on this above-treeline hike. In this pristine alpine setting, trace the footsteps of 10th Mountain Division trainees, and enjoy a true sense of the quiet recreation experience, including lush subalpine wetlands and stunning views of the Gore and Sawatch ranges, Mount of the Holy Cross, and the back bowls of Vail. 6-mile hike, mostly above treeline, 8 a.m. start.

Saturday, Aug. 22, Berlaimont Proposal Area.  Join local concerned citizens to learn, see, and hike to the proposed Berlaimont development high above Edwards. This controversial real estate development’s proposed 5-mile paved access road, now under final consideration by the Forest Service, would destroy the last critical winter habitat for deer and elk in the mid-valley area north of I-70. See the area in question and learn why more than 4,000 local residents have signed a petition urging the Forest Service to deny this permanent paved road. 4X4 vehicle needed for rough FS road access, then gentle hiking less than 3 miles total.

Registration is required and group size will be capped. Covid-19 protocols will be followed. Register here and learn about additional hikes:  

Contact hike leader, Susie Kincade at 970-328-5472. Photos available upon request.

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