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Whitehead Gulch

The Whitehead Gulch WSA lies mostly within the steep, forested Animas River Canyon and is in very close proximity to the Animas River. The mountainous landscape, with high peaks, basins, alpine streams and lakes, and narrow-side canyons, offers perfect opportunities for unconfined recreation and solitude.

Total Area: 1,875 acres
Elevation Range: ~9,200 to ~12,160 feet
BLM Field Office: Tres Rios
Designated: 1980 (Wilderness Study Area)

Location: The Whitehead Gulch WSA is located in San Juan County, approximately five miles south of Silverton. It is adjacent to San Juan National Forest land. The West Needles WSA is also nearby.

Flora & Fauna: Vegetation consists mainly of alpine tundra, spruce, aspen, willow, raspberry, and sedges. Fauna includes lynx, possible bighorn sheep, and various small mammals and birds.

Recreation: Activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, mountain climbing, fishing, 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.


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Tres Rio Field Office  |  (970) 882-7296  |  29211 Hwy 184, Dolores, CO 81323