Know Before You Go

Help protect our beautiful San Juan National Forest by recreating responsibility. Check out the following resources that will help you fulfill the first priciple of Leave No Trace - Plan Ahead and Prepare.


Be Safe Outdoors

Keep our Safe Places Safe:  Together, we can keep our safe places safe. Check out how to recreate responsibly during this time.


Outdoor Safety

  • Conditions can change rapidly, especially in backcountry areas. Always check weather reports before your trip.
  • Always treat water found along the trail if you decide to drink it.
  • You can't count on cell phone coverage in remote areas!
  • Bring the ten essentials.
  • Colorado Avalanche Information Center  
  • Respect Wildlife: We share the outdoors with a variety of animals who make the forest their home. Remember, these are not pets. Keep a safe distance from them and be careful not to disturb their habitat. 



Reserve your campsite online at

Check campground status by district.


View Current Road Status by district:

Maps & Apps

Detailed maps are highly recommended for your visit particularly for wilderness or backcountry travel. Visit one of our offices to find a map or buy maps online at the National Forest Store

Motorists: View Motor Vehicle Use Maps to see what routes are open by season and travel type. Motorized users are responsible for knowing where they can and can't take a motorized vehicle. 

A variety of mobile friendly maps and publications are also available for purchase and download for use with the Avenza app on your mobile device. 

App: Learn more & tour the forest via our OnCell App .


  • In order to reduce invasive species, weed-free feed is required in all national forests and grasslands.
  • Special Orders and Notices:

Passes and Permits

View all recreation passes available for purchase and a description of when and where they are required. Some popular sites have special permits or regulations such as: Hanging Lake, Maroon Bells Scenic Area and Wilderness.

Review forest product permit information to find out about berry picking, mushroom hunting, holiday trees & more.

Special use permits may be required for activities such as: recreation events, outfitter guides, filming, research studies and more.


Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is prohibited in designated Wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, are considered to be "mechanized” equipment and may not take off, land or be operated within designated Wilderness.

Make sure you check all rules and regulations for the specific Wilderness in which you want to visit.

To learn more about Leave No Trace ethics visit