The Handies Peak WSA includes multi-colored rock strata, numerous drainages, glacial cirques, diverse vegetation, and vast, open vistas. The namesake of the WSA, Handies Peak, rises to 14,048 feet elevation and is the highest point of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management outside of Alaska. The WSA includes 12 peaks over 13,000 feet, three alpine lakes, and three major canyons with streams. The geomorphology shows a variety of volcanic, glacial and Precambrian formations. Scenic quality is outstanding due to the high alpine mountainous landform. Vegetation consists mainly of mixed spruce, fir, aspen, alpine grasses, sedges, and forbs. Fauna includes elk, deer, black bear, various small mammals, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats. Activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, mountain climbing, and photography.

Visitation Information

The Handies Peak WSA is located in Hinsdale County, 10 miles southwest of Lake City.

Visitor Advisory

Total Area: 16,301 acres

Elevation Range: ~9,400 to ~14,048 feet

BLM Field Office: Gunnison

Designated: 1980 (Wilderness Study Area)