Aspen-Sopris manages five Wilderness areas and the spectacular Maroon Bells Recreation Area, the historical Crystal Mill, Ashcroft ghost town, and the small mining town of Marble, CO. This area provides outstanding recreational opportunities including downhill & cross-country skiing, hunting, hiking, camping, rafting, four-wheeling, snowmobiling, and world class fly fishing in gold medal waters.
Big game hunters will find numerous rewards with our generous elk and deer populations hosting an estimated 45,000 elk and 80,000 deer within our summer inventory. Our forest rangers offer hundreds of group tours and interpretive presentations throughout the year at our local schools, on the trail, in our campgrounds, and on location at our three visitor centers.
For visitors unable to visit one of our visitor center locations, please search our Recreation Opportunity Guides for free downloadable road and trail guides for the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District.
The Aspen area is known for its beautiful peaks over 14,000 feet, majestic wilderness experiences and scenery. There is a large diversity of recreational opportunities available in the area. The Maroon Bells Scenic Area is one of the most iconic areas in Colorado.
There are 352,917 acres of National Forest land within the Blanco District boundaries. Blanco is responsible for management of the historic Flat Tops Wilderness, which encompasses approximately 235,406 acres. District elevation ranges from 6,500 to 12,000.
The Blanco Ranger District provides access to a wide range of recreational opportunities such as camping, hiking and backpacking.There are nine improved campgrounds, picnic facilities and an abundance of well marked trailheads for access to backcountry and wilderness. The area is well known for outstanding hunting in one of the largest elk herds in North America.
Located in the beautiful summit county. There are four ski resorts in the area and a nordic center as well as multiple opportunities for hiking, biking, camping and finding solitude. For whitewater enthusiasts rafting and kayaking may be enjoyed at several sites in the area.
The Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District lies between the Gore Range, the Sawatch Range, and the Flat Tops, and includes the forest areas surrounding the towns of Vail, Avon, Red Cliff, Eagle, Gypsum, and Dotsero. Recreation opportunities abound on the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District.
The SE Flat Tops Area is north of Dotsero and I-70, and is primarily accessed by Forest Service Roads heading northwest off of the Colorado River Road between Dotsero and Burns. This area is part of the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District.
The eastern portion of the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District surrounding the towns of Vail, Avon, and Redcliff, including the east side of the Holy Cross Wilderness and the west side of the Eagles Nest Wilderness.
The Rifle Ranger District is rich with cultural history and amazing outdoor recreational opportunities. This area is near Flat Tops Wilderness which offers opportunities for solitude.
Hunting, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, picnicking, and hiking are available throughout the district with plenty of areas for dispersed camping. Winter brings snow and a variety of cross-country and snowmobile trails with it. Though known for many outdoor activities, it should be noted that the local rock climbing is amazing particularly at Rifle Mountain Park.
With the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964, Congress created the National Wilderness Preservation System. Wilderness areas are managed to preserve their natural conditions and wild character for present and future generations. They possess outstanding ecological, geological, scientific, educational, scenic, or historic values.