West Elk Wilderness Area

JMorgan Wilderness Areas

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Located in the West Elk Mountains, the West Elk Wilderness Area is located northwest of Gunnison, and north of Crawford. The Wilderness Area presents a different geology from the West Elk Mountains. Made up of West Elk Breccia, which has resulted in the various rock formations within the Area. The West Elk Breccia can be seen above the Blue Mesa Reservoir (the Palisades) and the Castles.

USGS Topo maps link:

Little Soap Park West Elk Peak SW McIntosh Mountain Mount Guero Big Soap Park
West Elk Peak Squirrel Creek Minnesota Pass West Beckwith Mountain Anthracite Range Mount Axtell

Established:  1964, expanded 1980

Acres:  176,412

Elevation:  6,800- 13,042 feet


West Elk- 13,042

Towns: Gunnison, Paonia, Crawford, Crested Butte

Hunting Areas: 53, 54


Camp: GMUC National Forest, Paonia RD

Basecamp Crested Butte Link