Conejos Peak Ranger District
The Conejos Peak Ranger District manages 377,314 acres of the Rio Grande National Forest and is located in Conejos, Archuleta, Rio Grande and Alamosa counties in Colorado.
The South San Juan Wilderness, referred to as Colorado’s wildest corner, makes up much of the western border of the Conejos Peak RD. The New Mexico state line marks the southern border and the northeast side of the district includes the towering landmark Mount Blanca (14,345).
The four major tributaries that make up the headwaters of the Conejos River empty into the expansive Platoro Reservoir. From there, the river flows southeast through the southern San Juan Mountains passing through the stunning Pinnacles Gorge and next to seven campgrounds. This section of the river also features Class III whitewater.
Highlights of this district are the South San Juan Wilderness, Continental Divide, Conejos Peak, Trujillo Meadows, the ghost town of Summitville, the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway and the resort-like town of Platoro.
Conejos Peak is a “service first” office, which means that the Forest Service and the BLM share an office and work together to manage public lands for a variety of uses, including recreation, grazing and timbering.
This 990 acre reservoir sits at 9993 feet above sea level. “Platoro” is two Spanish words combined; “Plata,” silver and “Oro,” gold. The reservoir is a fishing hole for brown trout, rainbow trout and some kokanee salmon. The area also offers many other recreation activities.
South San Juan Wilderness
The 160,915 acre South San Juan Wilderness falls within both the Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests. The wilderness straddles the Continental Divide from Elwood pass south to Trail Lake. This wilderness is known by many to be Colorado’s wildest corner. High points include Summit Peak at 13,300 feet and Conejos Peak at 13,172 feet.
The Trujillo Meadows area features a reservoir, state wildlife viewing area and a campground.
The 70 acre reservoir with open banks lies at 10,100 feet above sea level. Fisherman can find brown, brook and rainbow trout in the reservoir. The campground contains 50 campsites with many opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing nearby.