Winter Bear Claw – Arapaho National Forest, Colorado
Like the deep furrows of a bear claw gouged into the mountainside, the couloirs of Parry Peak catch winter’s snow. At 13,397 feet, Parry Peak is the highest point in the diminutive James peak Wilderness. Encompassing little more than 17,000 acres, the wilderness is one of a dozen protected areas scattered along Colorado’s Front Range. The continental divide, which runs through the summit of Parry Peak, marks the western boundary of the wilderness, leaving swaths of Arapho National Forest to the west unprotected. Due to their proximity to the Denver metropolitan area, James Peak Wilderness and adjacent Indian Peaks Wilderness are some of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the country.