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Divide Ranger District


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Weminuche Wilderness (Divide District)- The Weminuche Wilderness is Colorado's largest roadless area.

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General Information

North Clear Creek Falls, just off Silver Thread Scenic Byway
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North Clear Creek Falls, just off Silver Thread Scenic Byway
Description - The Divide Ranger District offers some of the most spectacular scenery in Colorado. The area is filled with rich mining history and there are several interesting natural features for visitors to enjoy as well.

Many of the mountains tower more than 13,000 feet in elevation. The Rio Grande River and its tributaries provide over 500 miles of flowing water. Also, scattered throughout the area are many lakes and reservoirs.

There are several natural features that are of interest to visitors. One of these is the Natural Arch, or La Ventana (the window), north of Del Norte. The arch was formed by wind and water erosion in a volcanic dike.

Colorado Highway 149 between the towns of South Fork and Lake City has been designated as the 'Silver Thread National Scenic Byway' under the National Scenic Byway program. This portion of the highway offers the motorist unsurpassed mountain scenery and access to numerous outstanding and high quality recreation opportunities.

This area is filled with rich mining history. Many sites can be visited along the Bachelor Historic Loop Tour, which is accessed from Creede. The Silver Thread Byway contains numerous interpretive sites that share the history of the region.

Attractions - The Divide Ranger District offers some of the most spectacular scenery in Colorado. Many of the mountains tower more than 13,000 feet in elevation. The Rio Grande River and its tributaries provide over 500 miles of flowing water. Also, scattered throughout the area are many lakes and reservoirs.

There are several natural features that are of interest to visitors. One of these is the Natural Arch, or La Ventana (the window), north of Del Norte. The arch was formed by wind and water erosion in a volcanic dike.

Colorado Highway 149 between the towns of South Fork and Lake City has been designated as the 'Silver Thread National Scenic Byway' under the National Scenic Byway program. This portion of the highway offers the motorist unsurpassed mountain scenery and access to numerous outstanding and high quality recreation opportunities.

This area is filled with rich mining history. Many sites can be visited along the Bachelor Historic Loop Tour, which is accessed from Creede. The Silver Thread Byway contains numerous interpretive sites that share the history of the region.

Recreation - Rio Grande Reservoir is a very popular recreation area and Rio Grande Reservoir Road 250 is not only scenic but has numerous campgrounds and access to fishing, boating and hiking opportunities. The mighty Rio Grande River is a magnificent highlight of the area which offers water-oriented recreation for the entire family. The district is also a favorite for off-road vehicles because of the many choices available for short and long trips. Fishing in the district is excellent and campgrounds are plentiful.

Climate - Mountainous terrain influences the climate visitors find in the Divide Ranger District. Elevations range from 7,500 feet to over 14,000 feet. In general, the climate at low elevations is cool and arid while the high country is cold and humid. Average precipitation varies from under eight inches at 8,000 foot to over 50 inches in some alpine areas. Snowfall varies significantly in the Forest. North Cochetopa Pass commonly receives two feet of snow in a year when Wolf Creek receives six to eight feet.

Summer is short and frost may occur anytime in high elevations. Annual temperature extremes range from 90 degrees in summer to 30 degrees below zero in winter. Rapid weather changes, with temperature changes of 40 degrees in periods as short as four to six hours, occur frequently.

Location - Creede is in the western portion of this district. Divide Ranger District is large, as it was recently created by combining the Del Norte and Creede Districts. South Fork provides the most centralized access to the area. Take U.S. Highway 160 west from Del Norte to Highway 149.


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Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Had a great time hunting in the Rio Blanco NF and the La Jara State Wildlife Area (GMU 81) this past December. The conditions weren't the best, there wasn't enough snow to push the elk out of the timber and a full moon kept them from being in the open around dawn/dusk. What would have made the hunt successful rather than just lucky would have been to have a saddle horse to cover more of the country, especially in the timbered holes and draws. Even though we didn't get our elk this year it was still a great time because we saw very few other hunters and those that we did see didn't leave their vehicles I think. It's a different story for the earlier seasons though, October and November see a lot more hunting pressure in the area.


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Contact Information:
Divide Ranger Station, 13308 West US Highway 160, P.O. Box 40 , Del Norte, CO, 81132, Phone: 719-657-3321, TTY: 719-657-6038

Additional Information:
Alamosa Area - Alamosa is the center from which almost any outdoor activity imaginable is possible, including summer skiing on the dunes in The Great Sand Dunes National Monument.
Creede Area - Creede is a colorful and historic mining town located on the Silver Thread National Scenic Byway. It is well-known for its repertory theater and is the beginning point of the Bachelor Historic Loop Tour.
Del Norte Area - Del Norte lies at the intersection of State Highway 112 and U.S. Highway 160. The primary force behind the economy is agriculture and recreation.
Monte Vista Area - Monte Vista is a lively city located in the heart of the San Luis Valley. During March, the Crane Festival celebrates the migrations of the sandhill crane and the endangered whooping crane.
Rio Grande National Forest - The 1,852,000 acre Rio Grande National Forest offers every visitor an area packed with recreation opportunities, incredible beauty and breathtaking adventure.
South Fork Area - South Fork is located at the junction of the Rio Grande River and its south fork. Where Highway 160 and 149 meet in the center of town, you will find the beginning of Colorado's historic Silver Thread Scenic Byway.

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