Special Places

Over the years, congress has been responsible for designating areas unique for the special characteristics and the opportunities they offer. Within the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland, there are a number of places that meet this criteria. 

Visitor information, maps, and publications are available at forest offices

A large lake surrounded by blue rolling peaks and trees.

Arapaho National Recreation Area

The Arapaho National Recreation Area is in the upper reaches of the Colorado River Valley and was established by Congress in 1978. 

Upper Poudre_Cache Le Poudre, ARP National Forest

Cache la Poudre; Wild and Scenic River

Explore Colorado’s Only Wild and Scenic River the Cache la Poudre. Recreation opportunities abound along its length.


A lake srrounded by lush trees and steep peaks.

Brainard Lake

The Brainard Lake Recreation Area is a popular destination on the Boulder Ranger District for hiking, camping, fishing and more.

Mountain reflected in a lake.

Mount Evans

The Mount Evans Recreation Area offers easy access to Colorado’s inspiring high elevation environment.
Never Summer Wilderness

Wilderness areas

Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest includes ten Wilderness areas that encompass many of Colorado's peaks.
Historic wooden mill.

Santiago Mill

Santiago Mill is an increasingly rare example of an early- to mid-20th century American floatation mill.