Uncompahgre National Forest
|Uncompahgre National Forest|
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
Wetterhorn Peak in Uncompahgre National Forest
|Nearest city||Montrose, CO|
|Area||955,229 acres (3,865.67 km2)|
|Established||June 14, 1905|
|Governing body||U.S. Forest Service|
Uncompahgre National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering 955,229 acres (1,492.55 sq mi, or 3,865.68 km²)  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 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.
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).
- Lizard Head Wilderness (mostly in San Juan NF)
- Mount Sneffels Wilderness
- Uncompahgre Wilderness (partly on BLM land)
- Table 6 - NFS Acreage by State, Congressional District and County - United States Forest Service - September 30, 2007
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- Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests (United States Forest Service)
- GORP list of campgrounds