Hike to a Hidden Gem
June 23, 2011
CARBONDALE – A series of 23 hikes and forays into the backcountry this summer will offer a glimpse at various areas in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond that are proposed for wilderness designation by the Hidden Gems wilderness proposal.
The Hidden Gems proposal seeks wilderness designation on public lands in Pitkin, Gunnsion, Eagle and Summit counties. This year, Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop has teamed up with partner organizations to offer a horseback ride and a mountain bike ride, as well as a couple of specialized hikes, to provide the public with a chance to visit and find out more about the places identified as Hidden Gems.
The series was to begin last week with one of the special hikes, a short birding hike into the Thompson Fins, outside of Carbondale, led by Mary Harris of the Roaring Fork Audubon Society along with Michael Gorman and Ellen Vaughan from Wilderness Workshop, but it was postponed. It has been rescheduled to July 26.
Next up is a Dillon Pinnacles hike in the proposed West Elk wilderness addition near Crested Butte on Saturday, and a Perham Creek hike – a moderate, short but steep ascent to the top of Assignation Ridge, south of Carbondale – on Sunday.
This year’s series also features a July 10 horseback ride into Hay Park, up to the flank of Mount Sopris, co-led by the Roaring Fork Horse Council. The Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association will co-led a July 17 mountain bike ride through areas of Hay Park that would remain open under the Hidden Gems proposal.
On July 12, the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies will co-lead a wildflower hike up Hunter Creek near Aspen.
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“We’re excited in our fourth year of the hike series to be teaming up with these organizations to lead these forays into the Hidden Gems,” said Will Roush, a field director at the Wilderness Workshop, in a press release. “We all share a love of the backcountry, and this is a great way for people to learn about what’s being proposed for wilderness designation.”
In addition to daytime outings, the popular full moon hike into the Hay Park wilderness proposal area is set for July 14.
The hikes are free but registration is required. Go to http://www.whiteriverwild.org/hikes to register and to see the complete schedule of this summer’s hikes.