September 3, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act. This historic bill established the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) and set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of wildlands for the use and benefit of the American people. Over the past 50 years, and as a result of America’s support for wilderness, Congress has added over 100 million acres to this unique land preservation system. The 1964 Wilderness Act defines “Wilderness” as areas where the earth and its communities of life are left unchanged by people, where the primary forces of nature are in control, and where people themselves are visitors who do not remain.
Sonlight Adventures, Inc. Sonlight began guiding backpack trips in 1979, only 15 years after the Wilderness Act was established. We have guided hundreds of people in the last 35 years, our trips have spanned the Weminuche, Gore and South San Juan wilderness areas. We have watched the wilderness change under the impact of nature: wildfire, dought, beetle kill, new growth and erosion, to list only a few of the significant impacts we have observed over the years. It has been a unique opportunity for our guides to walk the same paths in different seasons, and year after year. To see an area minimally impacted by man is unique in our world, and we are grateful to have wilderness in our back yard.
Weminuch Wilderness / South San Juan Wilderness: Located in southwest Colorado, these two wilderness areas combined are more than 500,000 acres. The Weminuche is the largest wilderness area in Colorado (three quarters the size of Rhode Island). Both areas are visible from the Sonlight meadow: our backyard.