Nestled deep in the heart of the La Garita Wilderness lies one of Colorado’s strangest natural wonders – Wheeler Geologic Area.
Located near the old mining town of Creede, a visit to Wheeler Geologic Area is well worth adding to your bucket list – but be warned, the journey is rugged. This natural amphitheater is full of rare and wild beauty, consisting of strong conical spires, jagged cliffs, hoodoos, and deep winding canyons.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Please only attempt to visit this destination when it is allowed and responsible. The hike is for experienced adventurers only.
There are two main ways to experience this natural wonder – foot or car. For hikers, your journey will be a rugged 16-mile round-trip hike along Wheeler Trail featuring mountain vistas, colorful wildflowers meadows, creek crossings, and tall beautiful pines.
If exploring by car, enjoy 14 miles of scenic beauty along Wheeler Geologic Area Road featuring off-roading adventures, wilderness views, and plenty of scenic beauty. Please note – high clearance 4WD vehicles are strongly recommended for navigating this extremely rough and rugged mountain road. Expect large rocks and deep ruts along the way.
Stay awhile and enjoy the fantastic scenery over Wheeler Geologic Area. Set up camp at the end of the Wheeler Road #600, where you’ll find several dispersed campsites. Visitors are not allowed to camp or set up campfires within any areas inside the rock formations. Dispersed camping can be found at Hanson’s Mill site located just south of the East Bellows Creek trailhead.
Famous for its soaring sandstone rock formations, this former natural monument was created over 30 million years due to volcanic action. Find more information on Wheeler Geologic Area from the U.S Forest Service here.
Here’s a look at where Wheeler Geologic Area is located, according to Google Maps: