Mount Zirkel Wilderness

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Zirkel Wilderness

The 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:

The Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area is co-managed by the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears and Parks Ranger Districts of the Routt National Forest.‚Äč Select 'Hiking' and 'Camping' on the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District and/or Parks Ranger District Recreation pages for a complete list of campgrounds and trails.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Open year round.
Fees Fees vary among sites.
Restrictions: Please see Wilderness restrictions.
Closest Towns: Walden, CO; Craig, CO; Steamboat Springs, CO
Water: Treat all non-potable water before consuming.
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

General Information

General Notes:

Topo maps

Forest Service Topography Maps: These maps overlay Forest Service assets, such as roads, trails, and campgrounds, on USGS's topographic maps. They are available for download by quadrangle.

Buy maps online

National Forest Store: Offers a full, nationwide selection of National Forest, Ranger District, Wilderness, and Specialty Maps for purchase online or by phone, fax, and mail.

Colorado’s Fourteeners

Find more information about climbing Colorado’s peaks at the Rocky Mountain Region 14ers page.

Go to for additional maps and information about Wilderness.


Camping & Cabins

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Horse Riding & Camping

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Nature Viewing

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Winter Sports

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