We just got back from a few days off the grid, hanging out with moose in the indian peaks wilderness area. Here is a view and reflections from Brainard Lake of the Indian Peaks Wilderness area, in Boulder County Colorado with the Milky Way overhead in the Sky. This is my all time favorite place on the planet. A planned astrophotography shot for a long time. We were lucky to get clear skies.
The Indian Peaks Wilderness is a wilderness area located in north central Colorado, west of Boulder, managed jointly by the United States Forest Service and the National Park Service within the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and small parts of the southern section of Rocky Mountain National Park. It borders the James Peak Wilderness to the south, and straddles the Continental Divide. The area receives very high visitation due to its proximity to the Boulder and Denver metropolitan area.
The area encompasses a stretch of the Front Range. It includes 7 peaks over 13,000 feet (4,000 m) in elevation. The highest point is North Arapaho Peak at 13,502 feet (4,115 m). The peaks are all within 100 feet (30 m) of elevation of each other. A portion of the area, encompassing the headwaters of North Boulder Creek, is closed to the public as it is the City of Boulder watershed.
Many of the peaks inside the wilderness area are named after western Native American tribes. The naming scheme was the idea of botany teacher Ellsworth Bethel. By 1914, few of the peaks between Longs Peak and the Arapaho Peaks had names. In the spring of that year Bethel, inspired by the established name of the Arapaho Peaks, settled on 11 tribal names for various summits along the Divide. The United States Board on Geographic Names kept 6 of his names: Apache Peak, Arikaree Peak, Kiowa Peak, Navajo Peak, Ogalalla Peak and Pawnee Peak. He later added Paiute Peak, as his use of the Ute band was denied due to too many other Colorado features sharing that name. Other names, including Shoshoni Peak, Hiamovi Mountain, Satanta Peak and Watanga Mountain were added later.
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