Dragon Canyon Addition

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Containing both spectacular vistas and subtle beauty, sinuous canyons and towering cliff formations, Dragon Canyon lives up to its name as an intimidating yet alluring place to explore.

Pete Kolbenschlag, Paonia


Wilderness Qualities
Dragon Canyon consists of several large canyons that run south to north to Evacuation Creek. These include Davis, Side, Atchee, and Dragon Canyons in Utah, and Little Whiskey Creek in Colorado.

Vital riparian zones along the canyon bottoms support cottonwoods, willows, sedges, and various reptile and amphibian species. Bench and ridge-top vegetation consist of sagebrush, rabbitbrush, greasewood, and a variety of grasses. Higher elevations are dominated by pinyon-juniper woodlands, with Douglas fir and quaking aspens shading the moister microclines of the drainages.

Peregrine falcons and golden eagles nest in the cliffs and hunt the river drainages; deer and elk forage along the mesa tops and in the canyons; and black bears roam the broken terrain. The area includes habitat for various BLM-designated sensitive or threatened species including Townsend's big-eared bat, dwarf shrew, ringtail cat, Lewis' woodpecker, and ferruginous hawk. Graham's Beardtongue (penstemon grahamii), a candidate for ESA listing, occurs in the area as well.

With its remote location, convoluted topography, and wide variety of plant and animal species, Dragon Canyon provides outstanding opportunities not only for solitude, but also for primitive and unconfined recreation. Wonderful opportunities for hunting, camping, hiking, photography, and scenic and wildlife viewing exist in the area, and backpacking and horseback riding opportunities are abundant given the area's many scenic side canyons.

Resource Information
There are no active or proposed mining claims, or anticipated major road construction within the unit. There are, however, active or proposed oil and gas leases, and active grazing allotments.

There are no planned timber sales or other logging activities, and local post/pole and firewood gathering is limited due to the area's remoteness.

Motorized recreation within the unit is limited to existing routes only.

A large number of historic and prehistoric archaeological sites have been inventoried in the area, and many more are believed to exist.

Dragon Canyon addition is a headwaters area, consisting largely of steep ridges in Colorado.

Boundary Issues
The bulk of Dragon Canyon is located in Utah, where 20,930 acres are proposed for wilderness designation by citizen groups. The adjacent Colorado portion amounts to 6,058 acres.


dragon canyon map
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Bench and ridge-top vegetation consist of sagebrush, rabbitbrush, greasewood, and a variety of grasses. 
(Mark Pearson)




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