ROUTT NATIONAL FOREST
1,127,164 acres. Made up of three separate tracts in the Rockies of north west Colorado, Routt National Forest has rugged l scenery including precipitous peaks and deep canyons. Highest elevation here is 12,180-foot Mount Zirkel.
There are many lakes and streams, waterfalls, alpine meadows, and sagebrush hills, plus forests of spruce and fir, pine and aspen. Wildlife includes elk, mule deer, black bear, bobcat, and fox.
Routt has three designated wilderness areas: the 141,000-acre Mount Zirkel Wilderness, 38,870 acres of the 235,230-acre Flat Tops Wilderness, plus 6,700 acres of the 14,100-acre Never Summer Wilderness.
Activities: Over 600 miles of trails are available for backpacking and hiking, including a section of the Continental Divide Trail (see entry page 122). Difficulty varies from easy to strenuous.
Horseback riding is allowed on most trails, as is mountain biking except in wilderness areas. Cross-country skiing is possible here in winter. Rafting is available on the North Platte River. Fishing is another option, as is hunting in season.
Camping Regulations: Camping and campfires are allowed throughout this National Forest, except where posted otherwise. Campsites should be at least 100 feet from trails, lakes, and streams. Stoves are recommended for cooking.
A permit, which may be obtained at the trailheads, is required for camping in the Flat Tops Wilderness. Permits are also necessary for groups of 10 or more. Camping is restricted in some portions of the wilderness areas.
For Further Information: Routt National Forest, 29587 West U.S. 40, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487;(303)879-1722.