Wild Roots Feral Futures 2010: Site Location and Directions!

(Ride share board at http://feralfutures.proboards.com/)

The time has come to openly release the directions to the site of this year's Wild Roots Feral Futures gathering. Though the gathering takes place for a one week duration, we invite everyone to arrive a little early and leave a little late. After all, we need help setting up and cleaning up!

Base camp is located in the Piedra Area along the Piedra River (below the Wiminuchee Wilderness north of Highway 160 between Durango/Bayfeild and Pagosa Springs, CO. Turn left when headed east from Durango to Pagosa on 1st Fork Road (FR 622) which is on the east side of the Piedra river.

The site is 5 or 6 miles up. You'll see a T in the road sign with a right hand turn but right after the sign and before the turn there's a parking area to the left with a sign by the trailhead that's labeled Sheep Creek Trail Head. That's the main parking/entrance and there's LOTS of camping
and extra parking up top and LOTS of camping up above or down below on the way down the mountain side, or all the way down by the river.

The site features a natural hot springs along the side of the river, but we'll save those directions for those of you who show up in the woods!

Here are some maps that may help a bit:



Site directions/location:

Drive East from Durango, CO on US Hwy 160 for approximately 35 miles (West from Pagosa Springs). Turn left (if headed East from Durango) on FS622, the dirt road on the East side of the Piedra river, NOT the one on the West side of the river. Drive for about 5 to 5 1/2 miles until you see the
turn-out & parking area on your left, which is pretty obvious. There should be a sign that says Sheep Creek trailhead, and a trail going down the hill. If you come to a bridge that the road crosses, you've gone way too far. That's the definite turn-around point.

At the turn off of HWY 160 onto FS622 is a sign that says 'Piedra Resort,' and the first road sign you see DOES have a 622 sign, a little forest service colored one, but the bigger road sign says Archuleta County 166.

The first half-mile or so of the road has washboards right now, but the rest is okay. You cross two cattle guards on the way in and right at the site there's a yellow T-in-the-road sign.

Most of the space is up top, but the trail goes down the hill to another meadow or two and then down to the river where there's another spacious meadow, and then upriver to the hot springs. The river is still high (but peaked and dropping) but as of yesterday at least one hot spring is
uncovered and good for soaking. The trail pretty much ends at the springs, and sorta restarts on the other side of the river, so you know you've reached the springs if the trail ends. they're little pools down along-side the edge of the river, with camping spots above the bank a little ways.

This is the FS map, but it doesn't show the exact FS road (it's right at the bottom tip of where it says "Piedra Area," right on the edge of the wilderness): http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan/... (Search "Devil Mountain, Colorado," or "Piedra, Colorado" on Google Earth and/or other map websites.)

It's a good site, because we have two towns to hit up for town runs, Pagosa and Durango, and then also little Bayfield in between. It's close to both NM and the San Luis Valley (just over Wolf Creek Pass from
Pagosa). Please be kind to the locals!

Let us know if there's anything confusing about these directions, or anything else we can do.

May the forest bewitch you,

—the Wild Roots Feral Futures crew:
-the Dirty Hands Collective http://www.myspace.com/dirtyhand...
-Earth First! Durango (a cell of HC.EF!) http://earthfirst.org/
-Root Force Durango http://www.rootforce.org/
-Rising Tide Durango http://risingtidenorthamerica.org/
-Durango Food Not Bombs http://www.myspace.com/durangofo...


More site information:

The Feral Futures rewilding gathering is taking place along the Piedra River in the San Juan National Forest of Southwest Colorado. Nearby is the Weminuche Wilderness Area, Colorado’s largest Wilderness Area. This is high elevation so those coming from lower elevations should be aware that time is often needed to adjust.

The Piedra Area and its adjacent roadless areas may be the largest expanse of contiguous, undeveloped forest remaining in Colorado. Only the nearby Hermosa Roadless Area may compare. The greater Piedra Roadless Area includes the mid-elevation stretches of the Piedra River and a half-dozen major tributaries. Piedra contains a large amount of the remaining old-growth ponderosa pine in the San Juans along the Piedra River and the lower reaches of its tributaries. River otters were successfully reintroduced into the river in the 1980s. The River and its tributaries provide excellent habitat for native Colorado River cutthroat trout, and Piedra also harbors some of the San Juan's best habitat for the northern goshawk.

The 1993 Colorado Wilderness Act designated a 60,000-acre portion of the 114,000-acre Piedra roadless area as a special management area equivalent to wilderness in all respects other than reservation of wilderness water rights. Approximately 12,000 acres of the RARE II roadless area have been modified by timber harvest and road construction in the last twenty years. This leaves 40,000 acres of remaining roadless lands contiguous to the existing Piedra Area.

(Info from the San Juan Citizens Alliance website)