Why You Should Visit
Situated at just under 10,000 feet, this fen is an astonishing vestige of the last Ice Age. The preserve is the most ecologically diverse, floristically rich fen known to exist in the Southern Rocky Mountains. Indeed, it contains more rare plant species than any other wetland known in Colorado.
Visit during mid-July to enjoy wildflowers in bloom: You can see Indian paintbrush, bluebell, day lily, pale blue-eyed grass and shrubby cinquefoil.
What is a fen?
A type of wet meadow or marshland fed primarily by groundwater that is constantly flowing to the surface.
Central Colorado, about 8.5 miles south of Fairplay and 2.5 hours southwest of Denver
Why The Conservancy Selected This Site
In the late 1980s, Dr. David Cooper identified High Creek Fen as the best example of an "extreme rich fen" wetland in Colorado. (Only 2-3 other fens with this classification exist in the entire United States.) The Conservancy is working to keep the fen intact and protect the extraordinary diversity of plants and animals that it supports.
What The Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
Since 1991, The Conservancy has worked to protect the areas in and around the fen. In the late 1990s, research indicated the need to protect not only the land, but also the water and watershed in the region. Today, The Conservancy is working with partners and the local community to protect upwards of 15,000 acres in this area.