Hike a Hidden Gem this summer | AspenTimes.com

Hike a Hidden Gem this summer

John GardnerGlenwood Springs correspondentAspen, CO Colorad
The Thompson Creek Trail outside of Carbndale, with its rocky fins, is among the areas the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign has proposed for wilderness protection. An organized horseback ride through the area is planned Aug. 9. (Todd Patrick)

CARBONDALE Amity Ludders enjoys a good hike. Hiking in the No Name Canyon was one of the reasons, she said, that she made Glenwood Springs her home, three years ago. Ive hiked up there a lot, Ludders said. I really like the area. And her passion fits her purpose when she leads a hike into No Name Canyon a side canyon to Glenwood Canyon on June 4. The excursion is the first in a series of free group hikes organized by Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop as part of its Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign. Hidden Gems advocates the designation of more than 600,000 acres of new wilderness lands in and around the White River National Forest, which surrounds the Roaring Fork Valley, including Aspen and Glenwood Springs. The proposal includes significant expansions of the Flat Tops, Maroon Bells-Snowmass and other existing wilderness areas, as well as several major new wilderness areas along the flanks of the Flat Tops and in the Thompson Creek area, outside of Carbondale.Wildnerness Workshop has been working on the push to designate additional wilderness for years; the hikes are a method of public outreach to show the public while the areas are worth protecting, explained Executive Director Sloan Shoemaker. We think there is a clear equation between getting people in wilderness areas and inspiring them to see a need for this, Shoemaker said. That is what we are trying to accomplish with these hikes. Its something that Ludders feels very strongly about, as well, and being a hike leader is one way she could get involved. Shell share her knowledge of the No Name Creek Trail with participants. When you do the long hikes, you are crossing a lot of different lands, from Bureau of Land Management to National Forest lands. And the thing Im always struck by in the wilderness areas is that you always see a more healthy environment, Ludders said. Its that feeling that the land is protected. Protecting the roadless areas is one of the main goals of the campaign, according to Shoemaker. We are not trying to create wilderness where there are existing roads, he said. We are not looking to close legitimate roads. The nature of our proposal is for all of the land to remain open.Getting people out on the trail is a good way for them to learn about the campaign, while experiencing the great outdoors, too, Shoemaker said. With these hikes, when people see and touch nature themselves, they begin to understand its unique values, Shoemaker said. We hope to convert their passion for the outdoors into advocacy. These hikes are a way to build peoples awareness for these areas and to build a base of supporters that is ready to speak up for protection of these areas. With that foal in mind, Wilderness Workshop organized a few hikes last year. This summer, its planning 23 hikes in five counties Pitkin, Garfield, Eagle, Summit and Gunnison.The No Name Creek hike will kick off the 2008 season. Participants will start at the No Name (Jesse Weaver) trailhead at 9 a.m. on June 4. With each hike, participants should RSVP with the trip leader for information on how to prepare and what to expect on the hike. The guided hikes are limited to 15 participants.Hidden Gems Hikes(Hikes in the Roaring Fork Valley area.)June 4 Grizzly Creek, No Name (Jesse Weaver) Trail: Come visit the deep, narrow No Name Creek Canyon, a hidden gem that offers fantastic biological richness and surprisingly easy access. This will be a moderate, 4-hour hike. To register and for hike information, contact Amity Ludders at 970- 355-9158 or happywalking@hotmail.com. June 15 Grizzly Creek, Grizzly Creek Trail: A chance to explore the proposed Grizzly Creek wilderness area via the dramatic Grizzly Creek Canyon. This will be a moderate, 4- to 5-hour hike. To register and for hike information, contact Lee Moosburger at 970-476-4567 or moosburger@peoplepc.com.June 17 Hay Park, Thomas Lakes Trail: An easy, 3-hour hike under the full moon at the base of Mount Sopris. Bring a headlamp, just in case. For more information and to register, contact Melanie Finan at 970-379-6625 or melanie@wildernessworkshop.org.June 22 Hunter Creek, Hunter Creek Trail: Enjoy the second day of summer by walking up the Hunter Creek Trail, watching for birds and learning about native wildflowers. This will be an easy, 3- to 4-hour hike. Contact Katey Buster, volunteer hike leader for the Wilderness Workshop, at kateynaturelady@yahoo.com (before May 21) or by phone, 970-920-3630 (after May 21). June 29 Red Table, Ruedi Overlook Trail: Amoderate (4- to 5-hour) hike in the proposed Red Table Wilderness Area, ascending through aspen forest with views of Ruedi Reservoir and the upper Fryingpan drainage. For more information and to register, please contact dave@wildernessworkshop.org. The hike leader will be Nina Schnipper.July 13 Clear Fork Divide, Thompson Creek unit, Middle Thompson and South Branch: A strenuous but rewarding all-day hike into the headwaters of Thompson Creek, traversing wild, upland meadows and dense old-growth spruce-fir forest. To register and for hike information, contact Retta Bruegger at 970-618-5190 or retta.bruegger@gmail.com. July 20 Clear Fork Divide, Clear Fork/Hayes Creek units, Huntsman Ridge: Enjoy phenomenal views of Coal Basin, Mount Sopris and the Elk Range as you ascend Huntsman Ridge, the high point of one of the centerpieces of the Hidden Gems wilderness proposal, the Clear Fork Divide. This will be a moderate, 4- to 5-hour hike. To register and for hike information, contact Jeff Bier at 970- 963-1061 or jbier@sopris.net. July 26-27 Hunter Creek, Hunter Creek Trail: An overnight camping trip near Aspen, geared for families. This will be an easy two days of hiking Saturday afternoon to Sunday at lunchtime, with one night of camping. Contact the trip leader for equipment needs, including food and gear for camping. To register and for hike information, contact Brad Yule at 970-948-3950 or yulebok@hotmail.com. July 27 Woods Lake, trail to Eagle, Halfmoon and Fairway lakes: This hike explores the Holy Cross Wilderness by way of the proposed Woods Lake addition, passing through lush aspen forest and then following a string of lakes. This will be a moderate, 5- to 6-hour hike. To register and for hike information, contact Gail Holstein at 970-926-6177 or gailwanmanholstein@yahoo.com.Aug. 9 Clear Fork Divide, Thompson Creek unit, Braderich Creek Trail: Explore the gentle terrain, open meadows and aspen groves of the Thompson Creek area on a horseback ride organized by the Wilderness Workshop The ride will last 6 to 8 hours; contact the trip leader in advance for list of required equipment. To register and for trip information, contact Amanda Leahy at 970- 963-4341 or aleahy@crms.org.Aug. 24 Red Table, Crooked Creek Pass Trail: A moderate 4 -5-hour hike in the proposed Red Table Wilderness Area, following a trail up the massifs eastern end for spectacular views of the nearby Holy Cross Wilderness. For more information and to register, please contact Dave Reed at 970-963-3977 or dave@wildernessworkshop.org.On the WebThe full hike schedule is posted at http://www.whiteriverwild.org click on Get Involved link and then Summer Hikes. The website includes maps and detailed directions to each trailhead.