Our seasonal staff has moved on to their next adventures, and those of us who stay at the Colorado guest ranch year-round are becoming accustomed to life without our friends and guests.

In the coming months, this blog will focus primarily on the lovely and fascinating area near the Colorado dude ranch. By the time the season re-opens in June 2011, readers should have many ideas on how to fill time when here.

Wheeler Geologic Area

One good example is the Wheeler Geologic Area, formerly known as the City of Gnomes. A National Monument from 1908 to 1950, it is now part of La Garita Wilderness Area, and well off the beaten track. While it is only about ten miles north of Creede, it seems like an entirely different planet. Eerie rock and ash formations jut forth from the earth – remnants of ancient volcanic eruptions by La Garita Caldera. The area is reminiscent of the South Dakota Badlands, but it is nestled in the mountains whereas the Badlands are carved out of the high plains.

Wheeler is accessible by an 8 mile hiking path or an 11 mile jeep trail also suitable for mountain bikes. The antiquity and quiet of the place seems to call for non-motorized transportation, but the gods won’t strike you down for driving in a jeep – the road ends about a half mile from the actual site, anyway. The trail rises to 11,800 feet, so those who venture there should be prepared for all sorts of weather and thin air. That said, a trek to Wheeler Geologic Area would be an incredible addition to a Family Ranch Vacation at our Creede Colorado ranch.

Photo of the Wheeler Geologic Area by Sangres.com.