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Explore Powderhorn Wilderness, Colorado

The Powderhorn Wilderness in Colorado is found in a rugged, glacier-carved landscape of the northern reaches of the San Juan Mountains, located 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of Lake City. The area consists of large expanses of alpine tundra, spruce forests, and several alpine lakes at nearly 12,000 feet in elevation. Breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains are available in this wilderness. Above 12,000 feet are two high-elevation plateaus that make up the largest relatively flat expanse of alpine tundra in the lower 48 states. These plateaus were created by Teritary volcanic deposits believe to be 5,000 feet thick in some areas. The Cannibal Plateau, Devil's Lake, the Powderhorn Lakes, and Powderhorn Creek are also intriguing features. Visitors can explore more than 45 miles of trails within this area, including Powderhorn Lakes Trail, East Fork Trail, Powderhorn Park Trail, Middle Fork Trail, and Devil's Creek Trail. Recreation activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, and photography. Most of the northern part of the area, 48,115 acres (194.71 km2), about 77.5%, is located on Bureau of Land Management land and its southern portion, 13,935 acres (56.39 km2), about 22.5%, is located within the Gunnison National Forest.
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