Backpack to day hike- Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area

After my wonderful trip last year to the Grape Creek Wilderness Study Area outside of Canon City, I thought a backpacking trip to a similar area nearby would be rather nice.

The Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area seemed intriguing: canyons, fast flowing streams and an off-trail route that promised to lead to a forgotten site (not on the map) from the turn of the last century.

The BLM website mentioned camping:

And maps, including one at the trail head, mentioned camping:

And so, all-in-all, the idea seemed like a great weekend trip.  A chance to have a leisurely morning with my a past partner, get to the TH by early afternoon and make a quick out-and-back while exploring a new area.

However, when I arrived at the trailhead, I saw this sign:

I should say that this trailhead is on state land..but shortly behind the sign, the area turns into BLM land.

A local I met on the way back from my now-day hike mentioned this sign was not here 1.5 yrs ago when he made a trip similar to what I had planned.

Is overnight parking not allowed? Is the state trying to discourage camping in the BLM area due to a reportedly high concentration of mountain lions here?

I don’t know. A follow-up call would have to be made.

What I do know is that the sign is very large and not subtle. Without further knowledge, I decided to make an ~8-mile day hike.  A bit of a long drive for a day hike, and probably not as dramatic as my planned off-trail route, but it was nice.

A local resident near the trailhead.

The brief looks into the canyon along the creek seemed pleasant.

And the topography below looked interesting:

I even saw my first Pasque flower sighting of the season. My favorite spring wildflower.

And, in the end, the beer I had originally packed in for a little evening libation still tasted good.

It was not the trip I planned, but  still nice.

UPDATE 2016: I made a backpacking trip to the Beaver Creek WSA in early Summer 2016.

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6 Replies to “Backpack to day hike- Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area”

  1. I called the BLM office. Backpacking is permitted. The sign means, “No overnight camping IN THIS PARKING LOT.” Thought you would want to know.

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