Uncompahgre National Forest

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For other uses, see Uncompahgre (disambiguation).
Uncompahgre National Forest
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
Wetterhorn peak.jpg
Wetterhorn Peak in Uncompahgre National Forest
Map showing the location of Uncompahgre National Forest
Map showing the location of Uncompahgre National Forest
Location Colorado, USA
Nearest city Montrose, CO
Coordinates 37°58′59″N 107°46′55″W / 37.983°N 107.782°W / 37.983; -107.782Coordinates: 37°58′59″N 107°46′55″W / 37.983°N 107.782°W / 37.983; -107.782
Area 955,229 acres (3,865.67 km2)
Established June 14, 1905
Governing body U.S. Forest Service
http://www.fs.usda.gov/gmug
Colorado with Uncompahgre National Forest in red

Uncompahgre National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering 955,229 acres (1,492.55 sq mi, or 3,865.68 km²) [1] in (in descending order of land area) parts of Montrose, Mesa, San Miguel, Ouray, Gunnison, San Juan, and Delta Counties in western Colorado. It borders the San Juan National Forest to the south.

Within the national forest boundaries can be found the arid Uncompahgre Plateau and the northern portion of the San Juan Mountains. The forest contains three alpine wilderness areas, Uncompahgre (formally the Big Blue), Mount Sneffels and Lizard Head.

The Uncompahgre National Forest is managed jointly with the Grand Mesa and Gunnison National Forests headquartered in Delta. There are local ranger district offices located in Montrose and Norwood.

Recreation[edit]

The varied climate, sparse population, and abundance of sun make the Uncompahgre National Forest popular with offroad vehicles, sightseers, and hikers. A common recreational activity within the Forest boundaries is scenic driving, thanks in part to the Million Dollar Highway.

There are several dirt roads within the forest; some are mining roads left from the 1800s mineral rush, others are occasionally used by the Forest Service. Paved roads include the San Juan Skyway, Alpine Loop, and the Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway.

Wilderness areas[edit]

There are three officially designated wilderness areas lying within Uncompahgre National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. One of them lies mostly in a neighboring National Forest, while another one extends onto land that is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (as indicated).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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