High Creek Fen
Location: Park County Size: 1147 acresDesignated: September 1994Landowner: The Nature Conservancy and The State Land Board
High Creek Fen is a calcareous (rich in calcium carbonate) spring-fed wetland supporting a large number of rare plants that are calcareophilous (calcium-loving) and/or arctic disjuncts. Arctic disjuncts are isolated populations of species whose normal range is now much further north. The calcareous conditions at High Creek are due to the fact that the wetland's springs seep through limestone-rich glacial outwash from the high elevations of the Mosquito Range to the west. The wetland community at High Creek Fen is a relict of the much colder and wetter conditions that prevailed in South Park during the last ice age. Primula egaliksensis (Greenland primrose), Salix candida (silver willow), Sisyrinchium pallidum (pale blue-eyed grass), Eriophorum gracile (slender cotton grass), Ptilagrostis porteri (Porter feathergrass), Carex microglochin (few-seeded bog sedge), Salix myrtillifolia (low blueberry willow), and Packera pauciflora (alpine groundsel) are all found at High Creek Fen. Click here to visit The Nature Conservancy's site about the Preserve.
Colorado State Parks & Natural Areas by Frank WestonPublished September 1, 2008Click here to purchase.