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GRAND MESA, UNCOMFAHGRE, AND GUNNISON NATIONAL FORESTS
2,953, 191 acres. These three National Forests in west and southwest Colorado are administered together. They cover an enormous area of high rocky peaks, deep canyons, plateaus and mesas.
Included is 10, 000-foot-high Grand Mesa, largest in the country, as well as some mountains over 14, 000 feet along the Continental Divide. There are hundreds of lakes and countless streams, forests of spruce, grasslands, and diverse wildlife.
Eight designated wilderness areas are found here: the 176, 400-acre West Elk Wilderness, the 98, 000-acre Big Blue Wilderness, 80, 000 acres of the 108, 000-acre La Garita Wilderness, 49, 000 acres of the 119, 900-acre Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, 43, 000 acres of the 59, 000-acre Raggeds Wilderness, 20, 000 acres of the 41, 000-acre Lizard Head Wilderness, 20, 000 acres of the 174, 000-acre Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, and the 16, 200-acre Mount Sneffels Wilderness.
Activities: There are hundreds of miles of trails for hiking and backpacking.
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Most trails are open to horseback riding. Cross-country skiing is possible here during winter.
Canoeing, rafting, and kayaking are available on segments of several rivers. Rock climbing is another option in these National Forests. Hunting and fishing are permitted in season.
Cam ping Regulations: Camping and campfires are allowed throughout the region, except near public use areas or where otherwise prohibited. No permits are necessary.
For Further Information: Grand Mesa, Uncom-pahgre, and Gunnison National Forests, 2250 Highway 50, Delta, CO 81416; (303)874-7691.