About the Stewardship Site:
This site is a must if you've never been! Located near the historic mining town of Creede in the San Juan Mountains, Wheeler Geologic Area is the centerpiece of the pristine La Garita Wilderness. At Wheeler, a mound of volcanic ash has eroded over millions of years into a landscape filled with unworldly beauty. The geology here, including an amazing series of pinnacles and spires, is so unique and astounding that the area became Colorado's first National Monument in 1908.
About the Volunteer Experience:
Though Wheeler is accessible by an ATV and 4x4 Jeep road, volunteers will backpack into basecamp via the 9-mile East Bellows Trail. Volunteers will pick up where the VOC crew left off after our successful 2016 project, and can expect moderate-to-difficult work. This may include closing unsafe user-created trails, clearing the corridor, building erosion-control structures and reconstructing sections of washed-out trail.
Note: Due to the backcountry nature of this project, volunteers are required to register for all five days of the project. Volunteers not registered for the entirety of the project will be removed from the registration list.
About the Overall Impact:
Though Wheeler is completely surrounded by Wilderness, a 4x4 and ATV road provides access to the base where a short hike can take visitors to the area, making it a popular option for day use. The designated trail has been cut in several places, establishing an unsustainable user-created trail that is eroding into the headwaters of West Bellows Creek. Our project will address a critical need for trail maintenance to address erosion and increases overall safety.