SEWEMUP WILDERNESS STUDY AREA
The Sewemup WSA is formed of impressive sandstone cliffs, which almost entirely surround the Sewemup Mesa, the namesake of the WSA. The name comes from the days of cattle rustling when the McCarty Gang burnt off and "sewed up" the cattle's rightful brands and replaced them with their own - hence the name, "Sew 'em up." The mesa is surrounded by sheer 500 to 700 foot cliffs on three sides, making access difficult. The difficult access resulted in little use of the area, therefore, this WSA is one of the most ecologically pristine areas in Colorado. Vegetation consists mainly of ponderosa pine, pinyon-juniper, monkey flower, spike pappusgrass, purple lovegrass, wolftail, scrub oak, serviceberry, native grasses, sagebrush, and various wildflowers. Fauna includes elk, mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, mountain lion, peregrine falcon, golden eagle, and various other raptors. Activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, rock climbing, and photography.
The Sewemup WSA is located in Mesa and Montrose counties, approximately 11 miles south of Gateway.
Total Area: 19,656 acres
Elevation Range: ~5,741 to ~6,562 feet
BLM Field Office: Grand Junction and Uncompahgre
Designated: 1980 (Wilderness Study Area)