Widening wilderness in Vail Valley | VailDaily.com
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Widening wilderness in Vail Valley

Collin Stewart
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyThis Sunday's Hidden Gems free, guided hike south of Edwards in Colorado's Vail Valley follows streams that cascade down from the rugged peaks of the northern Sawatch Mountains, the trail wanders through lush aspen groves, open meadows and deep evergreen forests
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VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – This Sunday’s Hidden Gems free, guided hike in Colorado’s Vail Valley will acquaint people with the West Lake Creek and Squaw Creek valleys just south of Edwards. The areas are proposed to be part of an expansion of the Holy Cross Wilderness .

Following streams that cascade down from the rugged peaks of the northern Sawatch Mountains, the trail wanders through lush aspen groves, open meadows and deep evergreen forests.

The hike starts at 8,200 feet at the Squaw Creek Trailhead and gains 2,000 feet of elevation before dropping into the West Lake Valley. The first few miles are a great place to see clumps of blue columbine, and a sharp observer may see the reclusive calypso orchid.

The primary threat to this area is the use of illegal, off-road vehicles in the White River National Forest. This threatens wildlife habitat and can pollute streams. Another stress on the area is residential home development on nearby private lands, which can impact wildfire. These pressures make the protection of this area critical for wildlife and the watershed.

The hike is sponsored by the Gore Range Group of the Colorado Mountain Club, and will be led by member Judith Rau. The Gore Range Group consists of about 200 members who ski, hike, climb and bike in and around the Gore Range. For membership information call, 1-800-633-4417 or e-mail cmcoffice@cmc.org.

To sign up for this hike and for a full description and map of the proposed West Lake Creek addition to the Holy Cross Wilderness Area, visit http://www.whiteriverwild.org and click on Hikes/Events.

What: Hidden Gems hike

Where: West Lake Creek area adjacent to Holy Cross Wilderness

When: Sunday

How: Register on line at http://www.whiteriverwild.org and click on Hikes/Events

Want to see your byline on this page? Write about something you think is newsworthy and send it to Community Editor Lauren Glendenning at lglendenning@vaildaily.com, or call her at 748-2983 for details.


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