About the Forest

Fire lookout tower high on a rock ridge.

The Pike-San Isabel National Forests & Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands is comprised of two national forests and two national grasslands that (forest locator map) cover nearly 3 million acres, between the prairies of western Kansas and some of Colorado's highest mountain peaks along the Continental Divide. These sprawling forests and grasslands are an eight hour drive from boundary to boundary. This landscape offers a variety of ecosystems rich in history, geology, scenery, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities.

The PSICC is a busy urban National Forest that has the Colorado front range, a majority of fourteen thousand foot peaks in Colorado, and wide-open grasslands of eastern Colorado and western Kansas. More than 60 percent of the water used by metropolitan area of Denver, CO originates from the South Platte River.

The forest offers a wealth of experiences from historic cabin rentals to the birthplace of developed recreation on the San Carlos Ranger District. The Comanche Ranger District lays claim to the internationally known dinosaur trackway at Picket Wire Canyonlands and continues to excite researchers and visitors alike with new discoveries. The PSICC manages nine wilderness areas, numerous scenic byways and a full spectrum of outdoor opportunities.


We lead in the conservation and wise use of the nation’s forests and grasslands. To carry out this mission, the USDA Forest Service is organized into three areas: the National Forest System, Research, and State and Private Forestry. As part of the National Forest System, the Rocky Mountain Region enjoys a proud heritage in the Forest Service.



Forest and Grassland Leadership

Forest and Grassland Supervisor  Diana Trujillo

Deputy Forest and Grassland Supervisor Jim Pitts



Cimarron National Grassland

Acting District Ranger Jeff Outhier

The Cimarron National Grassland manages about 108,175 acres in Morton and Stevens counties in southwestern Kansas. It is the state's largest area of public land and the only parcel managed by the Forest Service. Visitors will see rock cliffs, cottonwood groves, grassy fields, yucca and sage brush. The elevation ranges from 3,150 to 3,540 feet. Native grasses and riparian vegetation along the Cimarron River provide seasonal variety. The geology of the area is sandstone, shale, limestone, sand and gravel.

Comanche National Grassland

District Ranger John Linn

The district manages more than 440,000 acres in southeastern Colorado which includes the nation's largest Dinosaur Tracksite. The Comanche National Grassland is a place of unequaled sunsets, golden prairies, fragrant juniper canyonlands, and extraordinary wildlife viewing. Rare species such as the Lesser Prairie Chicken, the Golden Eagle, the Swift Fox and a wide variety of other animals, including pronghorn, coyotes, hawks, burrowing owls, wild turkeys, badgers, prairie dogs, turtles, roadrunners and collared lizards live here. 

Leadville Ranger District

District Ranger Pat Mercer

The Leadville Ranger District of the San Isabel National Forest is located in Leadville, Colorado, at 10,152 ft. The Ski Cooper Ski Area at Tennessee Pass (Hwy 24) at 10,425 ft is located in the northern part of the district; Fremont Pass (Hwy 91) at 11,300 ft. is the northeastern portion of the district and Headwaters of the Arkansas River; Mosquito Pass (the highest 4WD pass in the U.S.) at 13,186 ft. can be accessed from the eastern portion of the district; and Independence Pass (the highest paved pass in the U.S.) at 12,100 ft. can be accessed from the western part of the district via Hwy 82. 

Pikes Peak Ranger District

Acting District Ranger Jennifer DeWoody

Pikes Peak Ranger District is an urban National Forest Ranger District in Colorado’s second largest city and 80th largest city in the US, with a population of approximately 500,000 in the metro area. The District office is located in a city that hosts approximately 6.0 million visitors annually.

Salida Ranger District

District Ranger Perry Edwards

The district encompasses over 440,000 acres of public lands and is located in the central part of Colorado near the towns of Salida, Buena Vista and Poncha Springs.

San Carlos Ranger District

District Ranger Destiny Chapman

San Carlos Ranger District manages the southern half of the San Isabel National Forest.  The District is 50 miles wide and 110 miles long with about 400,000 acres of National Forest in Fremont, Custer, Huerfano, Pueblo, Las Animas and Costilla counties.

South Park Ranger District

District Ranger Josh Voorhis

South Park Ranger District consists of 540,296 acres mostly located in Park County with a small portion of the district located in Teller County. The district office is located in Fairplay, Colorado while our Work Center is located in Lake George, Colorado. The main highways through the district include Highway 285 south of Kenosha Pass to Trout Creek Pass and Highway 24 from Florissant Colorado to its intersection with Highway 285. The district ranges in elevation from 7,100 to 14,285 feet.

South Platte Ranger District

District Ranger Brian Banks

This is an urban national forest ranger district located adjacent to Colorado’s largest city and 25th largest city in the U.S., with a population of approximately 1,500,000 in the metro area.


Rules for Visitors