Mount Zirkel Wilderness

Area Status: Open

Zirkel WildernessThe United States Congress designated the Mount Zirkel Wilderness in 1964 as one of the original areas protected under the Wilderness Act. It has a total of 159,935 acres. All of this wilderness is located in northwestern Colorado and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

This Wilderness area is home to the headwaters of the Elk, Encampment and North Platte Rivers, as well as some 70 lakes, high mountain peaks (including the 12,180 foot-tall Mount Zirkel for which it is named) and a portion of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. It straddles the Continental Divide and encompasses the rugged Sawtooth Range, as well as portions of the Park and Sierra Madre ranges.

Dispersed camping opportunities are widespread or many developed campgrounds are nearby, such as Big Creek Lakes, SeedhouseSummit Lake and Teal Lake Campgrounds.

Trails/Trailheads that access Mount Zirkel Wilderness include:

At a Glance

Fees: Fees vary among sites.
Restrictions: Review wilderness regulations before recreating in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness.
Closest Towns: Walden, CO; Craig, CO; Steamboat Springs, CO
Information Center: Parks Ranger District (East Side)
100 Main St
Walden, CO 80480 Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District (West Side)
925 Weiss Dr
Steamboat Springs, CO


Lake and Pond Fishing

River and Stream Fishing

Day Hiking


Horse Riding

Big Game Hunting

Small Game Hunting

Viewing Scenery

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities