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Colorado Preservation Project

Hermosa relevant

The Hermosa Wilderness proposal is relevant to Molas, because the proposal would close a crucial link of the Colorado Trail -- a link connecting Molas to Durango.

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Molas National Protection Area
Counties: Dolores and San Juan and San Miguel
Nearest City of Town: Silverton
This high country heaven between Silverton, Ophir, Rico and the Purgatory ski area includes a dramatic, above-timberline section of the Colorado Trail and the gorgeous Cascade Creek. Much of it is currently off-limits to motorized travel.
The signature landmark of the area is Engineer Mountain, which dominates vistas for travelers on U.S. Highway 550 traveling north from Durango. The remarkable Ice Lake Basin features a ring of 13,000-foot peaks. The highest, Vermillion Peak, is just 106 feet shy of being a Fourteener.
As a young man, an author of this proposal, Gary Sprung, adopted this proposed Wilderness in 1978 and sent a pro-Wilderness recommendation to the Denver headquarters of Colorado Open Space Council. However, Colorado environmental groups did not vigorously pursue the designation. While its scenic splendors remain untouched and worth of protection, today the Molas area’s popularity for bicycling warrants a National Protection Area designation.