Colorado Wildlands

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The Colorado Rockies are dominated by the famous “Fourteeners”—iconic peaks towering to more than 14,000 feet. In their shadow, the state’s rugged Alpine backcountry provides a haven for wildlife alongside some of the best-loved hiking, biking, and climbing opportunities in the American West.

These defining landscapes are increasingly at risk from a profusion of second-home development amidst and adjacent to protected land. This “backcountry sprawl” threatens habitat continuity, trail access, and the character of small mountain-towns—the very qualities that make the high country so attractive.

To safeguard the region’s natural legacy, The Trust for Public Land works with private landholders and government agencies to protect the sites most important to the community—places like Wilson Peak and Bridal Veil Falls, home to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Our team also identifies unique opportunities to mitigate development: projects like the Crested Butte’s High Elk Corridor convert old mining claims into protected habitat and land for recreation.

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