Colorado Subway Map
SAN JUAN NATIONAL FOREST
1,860,931 acres. San Juan National Forest is in southwest Colorado, west of the Continental Divide. It’s another area of splendid high rocky peaks which sometimes exceed 14,000 feet, along with steep canyons, mesas, and interesting rock formations.
In the region are spruce and pine forests, high meadows and lakes, and large rivers and creeks with waterfalls. Wildlife includes elk, mule deer, bear, bighorn sheep, and mountain lion.
This National Forest has three designated wilderness areas: 294,000 acres of the 460,000-acre Weminuche Wilderness, 40,000 acres of the 127,000-acre South San Juan Wilderness, and 21,000 acres of the 41,000-acre Lizard Head Wilderness.
Activities: Backpacking and hiking are possible on over 1,100 miles of trails, including a section of the new Continental Divide Trail (see entry page 122). Difficulty varies from easy to extremely strenuous. Some trails receive heavy use. Higher trails may only be snow-free from mid-July through September.
Horses are permitted on most trails, and crosscountry skiing is available in winter. Several rivers are suitable for rafting and canoeing. Mountain climbing is popular in the Needle Mountains. Hunting is permitted in season, and fishing is an option on many lakes and streams.
Camping Regulations: Camping and campfires are generally allowed throughout the forest, but are restricted in a few areas. Stoves are recommended for cooking. No permits are required.
For Further Information: San Juan National Forest, 701 Camino del Rio, Room 301, Durango, CO 81301; (303)247-4874.