Soaring dramatically from the plains of Colorado, Greenhorn Mountain rises from 7,600 to 12,347 feet in the center of the northern section. Its summit is the highest point in the Wilderness, and nowhere else in the state provides such a vivid and dramatic change from plains to mountains. About two-thirds of the area is forested, and as you hike along, you'll pass quickly from dry oakbrush and ponderosa pine country (or pinion-juniper in some places) through aspen, fir, and spruce, and on to alpine tundra. Most of the east-facing slopes are steep, rocky, and generally bare. Unusual for Colorado, Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness has no lakes and no towering alpine peaks--and, consequently, few human visitors. Numerous small canyons and sharp ridges are the dominant geological features. A few streams descending from the mountain furnish a habitat for threatened greenback cutthroat trout. With relatively little snow, the area attracts bighorn sheep, elk, and mule deer. Only 11 miles of trail cross the Wilderness, all in the northern half. The southern half, remote and rugged and waterless, probably has fewer human visitors than any other area of the state. If you're willing to brave the dense woodlands and rough topography, you'll find few places with as much solitude.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.