- The San Carlos Ranger District comprises the southern part of the San Isabel National Forest. The San Carlos Ranger District encompasses the eastern half of the Sangre de Cristo Range, which contains five of the state's coveted fourteeners. Other attractions on public lands in the region include, the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness, Greenhorn Wilderness, Spanish Peaks Wilderness Study Area, Lake Isabel Recreation Area, Cuchara Valley Ski Area and Cuchara Valley Recreation Area. The public lands in this region are vast and the population in the area is not. Those two factors create some great terrain for solitude with nature.
Lakes of the Clouds - 10.95
Recreation - The major activities available to to outdoor enthusiasts are: camping , hiking, sightseeing, backpacking, mountain bike, motorcycle and ATV riding, hunting, picnicking, horseback riding, fall color viewing, scenic driving four-wheel driving, fourteeners, rock climbing and last, but not least, fishing.
Climate - Mountainous terrain influences the climate visitors find in the San Carlos 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.
Generally, heavy frost can be seen in September, requiring the shutdown of many campground water systems. Heavy snows typically begin in late October and continue into April.
The traditional beginning of the summer season in late May is often marked by wet snows, thunderstorms with small hail and cool nights. At elevations above 9,500 feet, depending on snowfall and the orientation of the site, snow drifts can linger in some areas into early July
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.
The San Carlos Ranger District is part of the San Isabel National Forest and is located in south central Colorado. The ranger district contains mountainous land on the eastern and western sides of the Wet Mountain Valley. Access to the region is possible via Highway 50 in the north; State Road 69, which leads north and south through the Wet Mountain Valley; State Road 96, which crosses the Wet Mountains near Wetmore; and State Road 165; that provides access to the southern Wet Mountains.