Deep in the La Garita Wilderness of southern Colorado is one of the state’s greatest hidden gems, the Wheeler Geologic Area. This former national monument is a natural playground of spires, cliffs, hoodoos and deep canyons, completely hidden from the world by the humps of the La Garita Mountains. Think Bryce Canyon—if that area had no crowds and required a 6-mile hike to reach it (there’s also a 14-mile four-wheel-drive road that is so rough it’s quicker to hike to Wheeler.) The pleasant trail meanders gently through large grassy meadows, reaching the four-wheel-drive road after 4 miles. Follow this road the last mile to the entrance to the geologic area. Take some time to explore this unique piece of Colorado.
Recommended season(s): Summer – mid-fall.
—R. Scott Rappold