Adoption Status: ADOPTED
2,207 acres (3.44 square miles)
How to get there
The McClure Pass roadless area is located in the Crystal
River valley, just south of McClure Pass. There are no developed trails in the
south from Carbondale or north from Paonia on State Highway 133. From McClure
Pass, you may access the west side of this unit from FS 898, which climbs south
to a private, gated community. Landowner permission is required for further
access toward Chair Mountain.
McClure Pass to the east, FS 314 to Marble follows the Crystal River along the
eastern boundary of the unit. From the Bogan Flats Campground area, you may
make a difficult bushwhack up Chair Creek to Chair Mountain (not recommended).
primary USGS 7 1⁄2’ quad for McClure Pas RA is Chair Mountain, with parts on
Placita and Marble.
This area is perched on the northeast slopes of Chair
Mountain, and includes the steep hillsides above SH 133. The area is an
extension of the Raggeds. The terrain consists of the jagged Chair Mountain
peaks that drain steeply to the Crystal River via Chair Creek. The hillside is
forested with aspens along the Crystal and at McClure Pass, and spruce/fir
higher up. This unit features massive avalanche paths that have scoured trees
from their drainages. The elevation ranges from 7,700 feet at the Crystal River
to 11,885 north of Chair Mountain. This represents over 4,000 feet of vertical
relief in just 2 miles.
What’s special about it?
The McClure Pass area is important as an extension to the
protected Raggeds Wilderness Area to the south. Wildlife move between the
Raggeds and the Huntsman Ridge/Thompson Creek and on over to the Battlement
Mesa area via McClure Pass. The area is important to landowners on the SW
boundary of the unit for accessing the Raggeds Wilderness.
The steepness of the terrain limits the potential for
development or motorized incursions. The Colorado Department of Transportation
performs avalanche control work in this area. There are historic aspen timber
sales in area and, coupled with the fact that this area is considered by many
as the largest contiguous aspen forest in the world, it is reasonable to expect
future pressures to harvest more aspen here.
This is one of several roadless areas that abut the
65,400-acre Raggeds Wilderness. Together they form a roadless complex of over
99,000 acres (154 square miles).