Spirit of Browns Canyon

By Sam Bricker and Nathan Ward

Browns Canyon National Monument, including the Browns Canyon Wilderness Study Area, covers approximately 22,000 acres of federally- and state-managed public lands in Chaffee County, Colorado. The area consists of the riparian corridor along the Arkansas River, stunning rock spires, hoodoos, and granite outcroppings. Wooded drainages descend to the river from upland areas covered with aspen, limber pines, Douglas firs, and subalpine grasslands. The variety of terrain in such a small space and relatively low elevation make Browns Canyon National Monument unique among all of Colorado’s protected public lands.

The history of the Upper Arkansas Valley includes traditional land uses that predate Browns Canyon National Monument. The trains stopped running decades ago, but ranching, hunting, fishing, rafting, horseback riding, hiking and camping traditions continue to play important roles. President Obama’s national monument proclamation protects all of these traditions, ensuring their preservation along with the natural character of this national treasure.

See how you can help protect our playground with the Friends of Browns Canyon.

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