Eagles Nest Wilderness

Meadow between jagged peaks in Eagles Nest Wilderness.

The United States Congress designated the Eagles Nest Wilderness (map) in 1976 and it now has a total of 133,496 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Colorado and is managed by the White River National Forest.

The rugged mountains of the Gore Range are at the heart of the Eagles Nest Wilderness and serve as a major contribution to the waters of the Colorado River. Melting snow in the spring plunges from the heights to create thundering creeks, verdant meadows and spectacular wildflowers.  This is an area that is more vertical than horizontal, with jagged peaks, sharp-edged ridges, deep valleys, sparkling alpine lakes, and dense forests.

The area is known for its excellent hiking and backpacking on approximately 180 miles of trails that can be accessed from the towns of Silverthorne, Frisco and Vail, Colorado.

Many of the high alpine lakes are being heavily impacted as a result of increased visitor use.  Negative impacts are occurring to the natural resources including vegetation, wildlife and water.

Protect this special place for the future by always using Leave No Trace techniques and following all special Wilderness restrictions including: 

Camping - Wilderness appropriate campsites are previously impacted sites, at least 100 feet from trails, lakes and streams.

Fires - Camp stoves are recommended. Fires are prohibited within l00 feet of any stream or Forest Service Trail, within ¼ mile of any lake, or at any point above treeline. Please refrain from having campfires in areas without dead and down firewood.

Human Waste and Trash - Poop and litter is piling up in popular destinations.  Do your part, pack out all trash (DO NOT BURN) and consider packing out your poop to prevent sanitation issues. 

Dogs - Pets are required to be on a leash to protect wildlife, other visitor’s experience and your privilege to have them with you.

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." President Lyndon B. Johnson, on the signing of the Wilderness Act of 1964

At a Glance

Permit Info: Registration is required for overnight camping: Free, self-issue registration forms are available at Wilderness trailheads and are required for overnight camping. *No registration is required for day-use. 
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Restrictions: Wilderness restrictions apply
Closest Towns: Silverthorne, CO, Vail, CO, Frisco, CO
Water: Treat all non-potable water before consuming.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Eagle-Holy Cross and Dillon Ranger Districts

General Information

General Notes:

Wilderness Videos

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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