Photo near the summit of Blackhead Peak.

The San Juan National Forest includes approximately 1.8 million acres of federal lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service in Southwestern Colorado. The scenery ranges from high desert mesas and canyons to high alpine peaks and meadows. The area features a National Forest scenic byway, the San Juan Skyway and a Bureau of Land Management 4WD scenic byway, Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, alpine and nordic skiing, horseback riding, and camping. Come and enjoy the natural splendor of the San Juan Mountains and your public lands!

The San Juan National Forest shares management of three designated Wilderness areas:  the Weminuche Wilderness, The Lizard Head Wilderness and the South San Juan Wilderness.  For more information visit our Wilderness page.

To order maps and guide books, or for information on educational and volunteer programs, please visit the San Juan Mountains Association website at

Use the sidebar menus, on the left or right, to find information on a specific area or activity.


The San Juan National Forest has released a draft Recreation Site Analysis and Plan of Work for public review and feedback.
Recreation Site Analysis Page

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Calico Trail (upper) (208) Closed to Visitor
West Fork Trailhead Open to Visitor


Alpine Loop

Photo of Alpine Loop near Silverton.

The 65-mile Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway winds through the alpine terrain of the San Juan Mountains, connecting the towns of Lake City, Ouray, and Silverton. Recommended for four-wheel drive vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, and mountain bikes.

For more information on the Alpine Loop check out the BLM Alpine Loop VIDEO.

Chimney Rock National Monument

Photo of Chimney Rock Archeaological Area.

Chimney Rock National Monument
for details click here

Wilderness areas

Weminuche Flowers

One of our nation's greatest treasures is the National Wilderness Preservation System established by the Wilderness Act of 1964. Wildernesses are lands designated by Congress to be protected and preserved in their natural condition, without permanent improvements or habitation.

Please follow regulations associated with Wilderness areas and always use Leave No Trace techniques to help keep these areas wild, clean, and pristine.

Maps are available for these areas.

San Juan National Forest Wildernesses:


San Juan National Forest Special Management Areas:


Wilderness Ranger Intern/Volunteer Program
Program Flier
Program Details