The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are located in the western center part of Colorado.
Where is this Forest?


photo of the castle mountain ridge with fall color foregroudn

The U.S. Forest Service celebrates 50 years of the Wilderness Act!  Learn more about the 10 wilderness areas on the GMUG National Forest. Find a wilderness area in the Rocky Mountain Region, join and event and  more..... View your amazing images of our wilderness areas - they are yours to enjoy and protect! (Fall surrounding the Castles, West Elk Wilderness, Photo Credit: Chad Wellman).

October 1, 2014 : Beautiful - many areas of our forest are just peaking now!

  • The Grand Mesa is just past Peak! (Many yellow aspens, some treeless stands, some green at lower elevations) 
  • Red Mountain and Silverton areas are Peak Now- Beautiful! First snow on the San Juans!
  • Gunnison (Fossil Ridge Wilderness, Marshall Pass, Monarch area)  are Peak Now!
  • Lake City - just past peak.
  • Crested Butte - just past peak.
  • Kebler Pass- Peaking Now!
  • Owl Creek Pass, Mount Sneffels Wilderness (Blue Lakes TH) - Peak Now! 
  • Uncompahgre Plateau - Peak Now! 
  • Colbran- Paonia Areas - Peak Now!

More information on Fall Colors on the GMUG. View your pictures of Colorado's Wilderness areas.


The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are a combination of separate National Forests located on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies. These three combined Forests cover 3,161,900 acres of public land in the central and southern Rocky Mountains, an area that lies south of the Colorado River and west of the Continental Divide with some of the most spectacular scenery in the Rockies.

The Forests vary in elevation from 5,800 feet above sea level in Roubideau Creek Canyon to 14,309 feet on Uncompahgre Peak.

The Forests include spectacular features like the 355 foot high Bridal Veil falls; the Grand Mesa with over 300 lakes, one of the world's largest flat top mountains; and Alpine Tunnel, once the highest railroad tunnel in North America.

Here are some maps to help you plan your visit to our forest:

Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)- show motorized routes open to the public.

Recreation Maps - show Forest roads, trails and recreation facilities with some topographic features.

Colorado Recreation Map -provides links to all the Colorado's National Forest and National Grasslands recreation information such as motor-vehicle use maps (MVUMs), visitor use maps (zoomable), wilderness maps, websites and more.

Recent News


National Public Lands Day - September 27

photo of high elevation fen

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. This day keeps the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the "tree army" that worked from 1933-1942 to preserve and protect America's natural heritage. Consider giving something back to your public lands. Check out volunteer projects in Colorado....

Whacking Weeds in Wilderness

photo of weed seed

Citizen stewards celebrated the 50th anniversay of the Wilderness Act by putting some of the “wild” back into the Raggeds Wilderness. The weed eradication day helps ensure more quality forage to give elk a winter survival boost

View More Features


Beyond the Bark Beetles....

Our Future Forests have much to offer. View a selection of short videos on forest regeneration, fire, recreation, and more...   

Featured Campground

Lake Irwin, is perched along a lake surrounded by mountains! The area offers challenging biking, hiking, a lake full of fish, and fields of wildflowers! 


Take a Hike!

Looking for a scenic trail to hike? Here are a few maps of our popular trails. Don’t forget to take the ten essentials in your pack!

A huggable Smokey ....

Smokey is watching you! Get a bear hug-demonstrate proper wildfire prevention. Huggable videos!