Fortification Range Wilderness


A wilderness sign marking a boundary of the Fortification Range Wilderness
Fortification Range Wilderness

The Fortification Range Wilderness encompasses some 30,656 acres in northern Lincoln County. The 13.5-mile-long Fortification Range is a low mountain range that is made up almost entirely of volcanic materials (breccia and tuffs). While the north end of the range is very rugged, having been eroded over the millenia into massive rock outcroppings and sheer cliffs, the southern part of the range is a series of gentle ridges. Elevations in the Fortification Range Wilderness range from 6,150' to 8,268'.

The range was named for a spectacular natural amphitheater at the head of Cottonwood Canyon which is formed by the huge rock formations and cliffs. The northern section of Fortification Range Wilderness is covered with scattered pinon, juniper, Ponderosa, cottonwood and aspen while the southern portion is lower in elevation and carries a dense forest of pinon and juniper. Wildlife in the area includes mule deer, mountain lion, coyote, pronghorn antelope and several different species of raptors.

To get to Fortification Range Wilderness: 19 miles south of the intersection of US 93, 6 and 50, on US 93 you'll turn east on County Road 47. Shortly, that road will merge with County Road 457, which runs along the eastern boundary of the wilderness (which is actually set back 100' from the road). Just a short walk southwest from the road will take you into an area of beautiful white spires and multi-hued pink erosion-sculpted rock formations.

Looking across an immense valley through the trees in the Fortification Range Wilderness
In the Fortification Range
Looking over a stand of aspens and down through a valley in the Fortification Range Wilderness
Looking through an eroded stone arch in Fortification Range Wilderness
Looking out from Fortification Range Wilderness across another immense valley
A white limestone formation in Fortification Range Wilderness
Looking at the Amphitheater area in the Fortification Range Wilderness
The Amphitheater area
A white llimestone pillar in Fortification Range Wilderness
A view of the valley leading into the Amphitheater area of Fortification Range Wilderness
A pillar of white limestone in Fortification Range Wilderness
Fortification Range Wilderness map
Map of the Fortification Range Wilderness area
Photos and map courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management