Wildcat Canyon, South Park. USFS S. Platte Ranger District. Photo Misi Ballard.
Wildcat Canyon Simple Locator Map. Created by Alison Gallensky.
Wildcat Canyon Call to Action
Protecting and restoring Wildcat Canyon is Wild Connections’ highest restoration priority. Wild Connections is advocating for increased funding and manpower for the Forest Service’s South Park and South Platte Ranger Districts to address the growing problem of illegal motorized use in Wildcat Canyon. Wild Connections can help the Forest Service to install permanent secure closures to block access to the illegal tracks, to educate the riding public about legal recreation options, and to restore areas damaged by illegal use.
The South Platte River, between Lake George and Cheesman Reservoirs, cuts a 1,200 foot deep gorge in the granite formations east of Lost Creek Wilderness, known as Wildcat Canyon. This 7.3 mile stretch of the South Platte River was largely spared in the devastating 2002 Hayman Fire and is now one of the only healthy wild habitats in the Hayman burn area for large game mammals, birds of prey, migrating songbirds, and wild trout.
In October 2017, Wild Connections led a backcountry hike into Wildcat Canyon and discovered rampant illegal OHV activity traveling on long-closed roads on both the east and west sides of the canyon and vehicles riding in the South Platte River and Tarryall Creek. Vehicles of all sizes are causing deep erosion on the closed roads, creating new illegal tracks across the hillsides, and damaging the delicate streambeds of the South Platte River and Tarryall Creek. The noise and air pollution associated with this illegal travel has tremendous negative impacts on area wildlife.
Wild Connections has worked with the Forest Service to successfully restore other areas damaged by unauthorized motorized use. With your help, we can successfully protect and restore the ecological importance and spectacularly beautiful Wildcat Canyon.