Wheeler Geologic Area, Colorado’s First National Monument, is a True Hidden Gem

Photo Credit: snowpeak (Flickr).

Though it’s often overlooked when it comes to Colorado attractions, the Wheeler Geologic Area (just 10 miles outside of Creede) is one of the most peculiar destinations in the state. With formations that are one-of-a-kind, the site is actually made up of heavily eroded layers of volcanic ash.

Wheeler Geologic Area, Colorado’s First National Monument, is a True Hidden Gem

A photograph taken by Mike Flynn of Wheeler Geologic Area near Creede, Colorado.Photo Credit: Mike Flynn.

Wheeler Geologic Area was Colorado’s first national monument, claiming the title from 1908 to 1950.

Wheeler Geologic Area, Colorado’s First National Monument, is a True Hidden Gem

Wheeler Geologic Area. Photo Credit: snowpeak (Flickr)

Wheeler Geologic Area has since become part of Colorado’s protected La Garita Wilderness Area.

Wheeler Geologic Area, Colorado’s First National Monument, is a True Hidden Gem

A photograph taken by Mike Flynn of Wheeler Geologic Area near Creede, Colorado.Photo Credit: Mike Flynn.

Named after U.S. Army Surveyor Captain George M. Wheeler, the site is accessible via a seven-mile hike up East Bellows Trail or a pretty intense 14-mile four-wheel drive road.

If you plan a trip to this destination, follow the rules of leave no trace. Stay the trail and pack out trash and waste.

RELATED: [QUIZ] Can you recognize Colorado’s national monuments?

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