Neota Wilderness Trails
Fort Collins, CO
Neota Wilderness Trails
From the vantage point of one such peak, Iron Mountain, I marvel at the contradictions of the landscape around me. One of Colorado’s largest wild tracts stretches north and south, ranging 70 miles from the northern rawah wilderness on through Rocky Mountain National Park and clear to the southern tip of the Indian Peaks. One-half million acres of glorious, precipitous, and remote country beckons, yet the stark signs of large-scale human manipulation of the landscape are all too obvious. Just below my perch to the west, the Colorado State Forest gives new meaning to the word oxymoron, for the state’s timber managers have all but obliterated the forest through aggressive logging clear to timberline. And who can ignore the massive Grand Ditch and the lesser Michigan Ditch, which collect and divert the first tributary droplets of the Colorado and North Platte Rivers to supposedly better uses along the northern front range. The human ability to alter ecological processes, whether it be stripping forests or dewatering rivers, is unmatched in the natural world. What better place to contemplate such thoughts than from a view such as this? Three valleys containing wet meadows spread radially from the common hub of 12,265-foot Iron Mountain, a peak that lies just outside the wilderness boundary. Streams meander widely through open valley floors amid thick riparian vegetation of willows and sedges. A spruce-fir forest borders the valleys and inches upward several hundred feet in elevation until foiled by timberline. Common forest wildlife, including deer, elk, beaver, and blue grouse (as well as an occasional moose), inhabit the wilderness. This trail guide includes descriptions of Zimmerman Lake, Trap Park, Neota Creek, and Trap Park to Neota Creek.
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Directions to: Neota Wilderness Trailsprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Nearby City||Fort Collins|
|Skill Level||Easy to Moderate|
|Season||Best Spring through Fall|
|Trailhead Elevation||10,000 ft|
|Top Elevation||11,900 ft|
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