White River National Forest

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White River National Forest
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
20111025-FS-SM-0002 - Flickr - USDAgov.jpg
The Maroon Bells in White River National Forest
Map showing the location of White River National Forest
Map showing the location of White River National Forest
Location Colorado, USA
Nearest city Glenwood Springs, CO
Coordinates 39°35′20″N 105°38′35″W / 39.589°N 105.643°W / 39.589; -105.643Coordinates: 39°35′20″N 105°38′35″W / 39.589°N 105.643°W / 39.589; -105.643
Area 2,285,970 acres (9,251.0 km2)
Established June 28, 1902
Governing body U.S. Forest Service
The forest highlighted in red in a map of Colorado.

White River National Forest White River National Forest is right in the heart of the Rockies Mountains. It is located in the North West part of Colorado about three hours’ drive time west of Denver and is well over nine hundred thousand acres extending into at least six Colorado counties including Summit County, Garfield, Rio Blanco, Moffat, Routt and Eagle. There are seventy streams and one hundred lakes that hold millions of trout. Main headwaters in White river national forest are The White River, Yampa River, Williams River, and the Colorado River. These streams provide the water essentially needed for irrigation, farming, and ranching to Colorado and its neighboring states. They are also used for recreational use such as rafting and fishing. White river is a popular place to be for recreationalist and is a great asset for the communities located within its boundaries. In 1891, President Benjamin Harrison used an executive order to declare present day White River National Forest as a White River Plateau Reserve, the first Reserve in Colorado and the second in the nation. In 1905, the name was changed from “National Reserve,” to “National forest,” making the resources from the park usable. In 1936, White River National Forest began gaining recognition as a “skier’s paradise,” with the proposal for the Hayden Peak ski area. Throughout the years additional skiing areas were being opened to tourists as it became more profitable and in 1970 the Blue River Corridor and Green Mountain Reservoir were added into the park Boundaries. The Supervisory headquarters is located in Glenwood springs and they have a Land Management plan to guide forest usage. Each year applications for grazing are received for horses, sheep, cattle, and goats. White River National Forest provides many outdoor activities for recreationalists looking to climb the peaks or just enjoy the majestic mountain scenery. With streams lengthening over four hundred miles, it is a great place to be learn how to raft or if you’re just a general outdoor hiker, there over 860 miles of trails to explore White Rivers National Forests Valleys, mountain peaks, and beautiful lakes. One popular site located about seven miles east of Glenwood Springs being the Hanging Lake which features waterfalls coming down into a crystal clear limestone lake full of trout. White River National Forests also feeds the surrounding population by hunting animals such as deer. Animals that live in the forest also include Mountain Sheep, fox, bears, Elk, Beavers, Coyotes, Bob cats and even Mountain Lions. Hunting and licensing is overseen by the Colorado Division of wildlife. Other recreational activities people love to do are biking, boating, sightseeing, horse riding, caving, and of course skiing and snowboarding during the winter months. Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the Country with its majestic mountains and it’s ever expanse of beautiful scenery, the highest mountain peaks reach over fourteen thousand feet. People from all over the country and all the world come to Colorado for its great outdoors and skiing during the winter months making Colorado a thriving economy off tourism alone. President Theodore Roosevelt himself was an outdoors man himself living and hunting at one time in White River National Forest. He loved the outdoors and quoted “it is also Vandalism wantonly to destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird. Here in the United States we turn our rivers and rivers and streams and into sewers and dumping grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals. Not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscape with hideous advertisements, but at last it looks as if our people were awakening,” -Theodore Roosevelt. The purpose of a National Forest is the preserve and to benefit the people for many generations to come, whether it’s a hike into mountains or just a scenic drive through, White River National Forest is one of Colorado’s many natural wonders. The following ski areas are located inside the forest:

The Maroon Bells, a famous collection of Paleozoic sandstone and mudstone peaks near Aspen.

The forest contains 2,285,970 acres (3,571.8 sq mi, or 9,250.99 km²). In descending order of land area it is located in parts of:

The forest is managed from Forest Service offices in Glenwood Springs. There are local ranger district offices in Aspen, Carbondale, Eagle, Meeker, Minturn, Rifle, and Silverthorne.[2]

Wilderness areas[edit]

There are eight officially designated wilderness areas lying within White River National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Five of them extend into neighboring National Forests (as indicated).

See also[edit]


"White River has 70 Streams and 110 lakes for fish," June 10, 1937. (Colorado Historic Collection) Aspen Daily Times. "Recreation in the Forest ." March 01,1945 (Colorado Historic Collection)

Axelton, John . Big Game Hunters Guide to Colorado. second ed. : Wilderness Adventures Press, 2008. (Google Books)

Forest Plan Focus, White River National Forest, August 1997. S.l.: s.n., 1997. (Google Books) Graves, Henry S.. Vacation days in Colorado's national forests. Washington: G.P.O., 1919.(Google Books)

N.p., n.d. Web. <www.nps.gov2Fthro2Fhistoryculture2Ftheodore-roosevelt-quotes.htm>.

External links[edit]