Beyond the Ghost Town Lies a Stranger Lode

June 30, 2022 – The Holy Cross Wilderness of Colorado is one of miles of trails and stunning beauty. It sits between the Vail Pass and Thompson Divide wildlife corridors and allows everything from elk to Canada lynx to pass through unencumbered. This wilderness area is also riddled with private land that threaten that passage. The Wilderness Land Trust recently ramped up our efforts to remove these threats and as a result, in the last year we have acquired five parcels in the Holy Cross Wilderness.

The Stranger Lode property is our latest acquisition and is located along the shores of Cleveland Lake just inside the southeast side of the wilderness area boundary. The hike to Cleveland Lake is short and steep. It follows a road that was build in 1883 to support the mining town of Holy Cross City. Today, the road is a well-known world class 4×4 excursion. On the weekends, it is crowded with those with the skills and will to drive up to what is now the ghost town of Holy Cross City.

Just a mile above the ghost town and within the wilderness is Cleveland Lake and the Stranger Lode property. Where Holy Cross City provides a destination for extreme motorists, the lake provides solitude and serenity for hikers.

Though the Stranger Lode parcel is small at only 9 acres, it posed a big threat. The property is flat and scenic and close enough to the wilderness border and a road to increase the likelihood of cabin development.

With the threat removed, The Wilderness Land Trust is turning our focus to transferring the over 50 acres of land that we now own in the Holy Cross Wilderness to public ownership. It is because of you, our supporters, that our work continues and areas like the Holy Cross Wilderness move, piece by piece, towards a truly protected place. We thank you!