Scenery seekers stalk the rugged cliffs along the northern border whose layers are dramatically upturned revealing picturesque outcrops of sedimentary and volcanic rock that erupt in surprising shapes. [amidst vegetation along ridges all over the unit.]
Mike Foster, Golden
Pisgah Mountain rises 2,000 feet from the Colorado River, which has carved an extensive and scenic canyon on the north and east sides of the unit. The presence of the river's riparian ecosystem affords a great variety of flora and fauna and adds to the unit's outstanding scenic qualities.
This is a diverse area in the foothills and lower montane life zones. The 8,600-foot elevation of Pisgah Mountain, the unit's high point, puts Pisgah well below the altitude of most designated wilderness areas in Colorado.
The rugged topography of the Pisgah Mountain unit reduces the frequency of visitation. This gives the area a wild, unpopulated feeling and makes it a prime resource for non-motorized, non-developed recreation. Red rock cliffs of the State Bridge formation fringe Pisgah Mountain and add to its sense of isolation. Ponderosa pines grow along the Colorado River and arid, rocky grasslands cover the flanks of Pisgah Mountain. Scattered aspen groves add diversity to an otherwise austere desert environment. The unit provides a "habitat linkage zone" for the lynx.
The area potentially contains significant Ute artifacts, including wickiups, but no extensive archeological surveys have been conducted to date.
There are two vestiges of an old stagecoach road off the old Colorado River road, both of which are currently foot trails. There is potential for significant Ute/Paleo artifacts, though no survey has yet been performed.
Grazing facilities, fencing, and spring developments exist but do not currently impact the wild character of the area. There are no dams or water diversions.
Portions of two grazing allotments overlay with the area.
There are no active oil and gas leases in the unit.
Closed roads have been ripped and reseeded as part of the Castle Peak Travel Management Plan. Motorized use is limited to designated, summer-only routes. The one vehicle route within the unit (Road 8585) could quickly and easily be closed and reduced to foot trail status. An old water trough and water tank at Balanced Rock Spring could be hauled away to eliminate signs of man.
There are no planned timber or tree cutting operations and there are no developed recreational sites within the unit.
Pisgah Mountain is primarily a headwaters area. Several small tributaries of Big Alkali Creek flow through a corner of the area's southwestern corner.
The Colorado River and private land define the entire northern boundary of the CWP. State Highway 131 defines the eastern boundary, and private land or jeep roads denote the remainder of the unit's boundary. The CWP boundary does not include the Colorado River itself.