- La Garita Wilderness surrounds the Wheeler Geologic Area, an impressive, hard to reach site that contains a startling mass of pinnacles, domes, and spires of rock which are hidden by the surrounding mountains.
Wheeler Geologic Area - 7.68
The wilderness is filled with beautiful scenery and many wildlife viewing opportunities. For those wishing to be far away from everything, this is the place.
Recreation - The predominate recreational activity in this wilderness is hiking and there are a number of wonderful trails to choose from, many of them following creeks.
Climate - Mountainous terrain influences the climate visitors find. Elevations range from 7,500 feet to over 14,000 feet at the top of several mountain peaks. In general, the climate at low elevations is cool and arid while the high country is cold and humid. Average precipitation varies from under 8 inches at the 8,000 foot level to over 50 inches in some alpine areas. Snowfall varies significantly in the Forest. North Cochetopa Pass commonly receives two feet of snow in a year when Wolf Creek receives six to eight feet.
Summer is short and frost may occur anytime in high elevations. Annual temperature extremes range from 90 degrees in summer to 30 degrees below zero in winter. Rapid weather changes, with temperature changes of 40 degrees in periods as short as four to six hours, occur frequently.
There are a few access points on the Rio Grande National Forest, all of which can be time-consuming. A few trails a and a four-wheel drive road leave from Creede. A paved highway that turns into a four-wheel drive road that starts near the Wagon Wheel Gap site takes you into Wheeler Geologic Area.