Backpack to day hike- Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area

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

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 someone, 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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4 years ago

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

4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Mags

Now I have questions for you. How early in the year do you think a pleasant backpacking trip could be had there? And how bad was the creek crossing? Thanks.

Annie M
Annie M
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Mags

We just did this. There was more water, perhaps from the recent rains, and for petite 5′ me, the water was above my knees in sections. I almost slipped and fell in but re-gained my balance. The guys in our group had an easier go across the creek, but still went gingerly.

3 years ago

Was the power plant your original off trail destination?