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Indian Peaks Wilderness, Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest, CO (Jul 29th - Aug 4th 2018)

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Recreational opportunities abound in this forest haven located high up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado's Front Range! The Sulphur Ranger District covers over 442,000 acres of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest in northcentral Colorado. Being surrounded by mountain peaks, meadows and lakes, you are in for a truly majestic experience. Summers are filled with enjoying the wildflowers and wildlife, mountain biking near the towns of Winter Park and Fraser, or hiking and backpacking in one of the five wilderness areas nearby.

The Indian Peaks area became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1978. Many of the peaks within the area were named after Native American tribes of the west. The 76,586 acre Indian Peaks Wilderness is adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park's southern boundary, and is one of the most often-visited wilderness areas in the country.

Our service project starts with a steep 5.5 mile backpack up the Monarch Lake Trail. The trail receives use from hikers accessing the high mountain lakes under the sharp ridgeline views of the 12,000' Indian Peaks. On our day off we may hike up to picturesque Crater Lake, Pawnee Lake and Pawnee Pass on the Continental Divide. Our host wilderness rangers with the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, Sulphur Ranger District will provide pack support to carry group food, kitchen and tool, and will camp with volunteers to supervise the project. Our work will be to establish a higher grade water crossing on the Cascade Creek Trail. The Cascade Creek trail, leading to Crater Lake is the busiest wilderness trail in the Sulphur Ranger District. The Crater Lake Backcountry zone is the most popular backcountry site in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Yet, a single section of this trail to Crater Lake, is the most treacherous and poorly maintained stream crossing in the Indian Peaks. This project will involve a lot of very heavy rockwork utilizing rock bars, nets, and brawn to establish a safe, long term rock ford that will withstand the seasonal high water runoff coming from the high peaks of the Indian Peaks.

This project is rated as a strenuous project.

Check out more photos from Indian Peaks project in 2016 in our photo gallery.


Jul 29th - Aug 4th 2018

Service Project

Water crossing construction and trail maintenance

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Free Days

Day hikes to nearby lakes & peaks, fishing, relaxing, photography


Backpack camping

Project Difficulty

Strenuous : 3.5 mile steep backpack, hiking, bending, lifting, digging. Pack supported. High elevation.


Karen Zietlow
Chris Roberts

Equipment List