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Vale of Tears


The remote Vale of Tears WSA is located on the southern slopes of the southeastern end of Douglas Mountain, within 0.5 miles of the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument. The Vale of Tears WSA is a continuation of the landforms found in Dinosaur National Monument. The upper two-thirds of several draws and drainages are within the WSA.

The Vale of Tears drainage in the southern section has the appearance of colorful badlands with banded, multicolored soil. The rugged, Sawmill Canyon cuts through the eastern part of the WSA. The remainder of the area consists of ridges, peaks, and draws, which contribute to its overall ruggedness.


Total Area:
7,045 acres
Elevation Range: ~5,800 to ~7,800 feet
BLM Field Office: Little Snake
Designated: 1980 (Wilderness Study Area)

Location: The Vale of Tears WSA is located in Moffat County, approximately 25 miles west of Maybell; 55 miles west of Craig. The Ant Hills, Chew Winter Camp, Cross Mountain, and Peterson Draw WSAs are also nearby.

Flora & Fauna:  Vegetation consists mainly of pinyon-juniper woodlands with sagebrush and saltbush/greasewood communities at lower elevations. Fauna includes fox, coyote, black bear, mountain lion, mule deer, elk, raptors and various songbirds, gopher snakes, and western diamondbacks.

Recreation: Activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, horseback riding, hunting, and photography. For more information, visit the Recreation page. Please note that though unconfined recreation is encouraged in WSAs, specific types of recreation may be barred from a specific area to prevent degradation of natural conditions.

Click here for additional information about the Vale of Tears WSA from the Little Snake Field Office.


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Little Snake Field Office  |  (970) 826-5000  |  455 Emerson St., Craig, CO 81625