About the Forest

Weminuche Wilderness

The Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) is 1.82 million acres located in southwestern Colorado and remains one of the true undiscovered jewels of Colorado. 

There are recreation and adventure opportunities for the heartiest of souls. Whether walking, driving, riding or skiing. The RGNF has something for everyone.

Interesting Facts about the Rio Grande National Forest

  • The RGNF is so named because the 1,800 mile long Rio Grande begins high up in San Juan Mountains in the western most portion of the Forest
  •  The Continental Divide runs for 236 miles along most of the western border of the Forest.

  • Blanca Peak is the highest point on the Forest at 14,345 feet above sea level.

  • The Forest contains a myriad of ecosystems; from pinyon pine and juniper dotted foothills to high elevation alpine tundra.

  • The Forest surrounds the rural San Luis Valley, a large agricultural basin.

  • Portions of four designated wilderness areas (South San Juan, Weminuche, La Garita and Sangre de Cristo) are located within the RGNF.  

  • Temperatures during the summer peak out around 80 degrees and dip to well below zero during the winter.

  • Some parts of the San Juan Mountains within the Forest average more than 400 inches of snowfall a year.

  • The RGNF is located 3 1/2 hours south of Denver, CO and 3 ½ hours of north of Albuquerque, NM.

Spotlights

Natural Resources

photo of Range Land

Some of the Rio Grande's natural resources include; animals, ecology, wildlife, geological resources, rangeland management, water, air and soil. 

A Brief History

on FDR 250 Alamosa Canyon

The RGNF was officially created on July 1, 1908 by Theodore Roosevelt in Executive Order Number 887.