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Pike National Forest


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Pikes Peak Ranger District- The Pikes Peak Ranger District encompasses the region surrounding the city of Colorado Springs.
South Park Ranger District- The South Park Ranger District encompasses the mountainous region surrounding one of Colorado's largest natural parks, South Park.
South Platte Ranger District- The South Platte Ranger District encompasses the region southwest of the Denver Metropolitan Area and attracts many visitors from the city.

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General Information

Pike's Peak from Garden of the Gods
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Pike's Peak from Garden of the Gods
Description - Some of the highlights of the Pike National Forest include various recreation areas. The Barr National Recreation Trail provides access to Pikes Peak and an entire network of trails on it. The Rampart Range Motorized Area provides countless trails for ATVs and motorcycle riders. Buffalo Creek Mountain Bike Area enables mountain bikers of all levels to enjoy the outdoors. The South Platte River Corridor provides public access to gold-medal trout waters. The Windy Ridge Scenic Area allows visitors to view the oldest living entities on Earth, the Bristlecone Pine. The Alma-Fairplay Area boasts four 14,000 foot peaks for those wishing to add to their list of summits attained. These and several other attractions make the Pike National Forest a major attraction in the state of Colorado.

Recreation - The Pike National Forest includes a multitude of recreation opportunities for every kind of visitor. For backpackers the Colorado Trail, Barr Recreational Trail, Lost Creek Wilderness and Buffalo Peaks Wilderness provide countless miles of trails. Those visitors interested in boating may choose to visit Rampart Reservoir, Catamount Reservoirs or Elevenmile Canyon Reservoir. For the motorcyclists and ATVs riders the Rampart Range Motorized Area makes many motorized trails easily accessible. The West Creek Area also provides miles of motorized trails. Camping is provided in approximately 40 campgrounds throughout the forest. Mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders are provided with countless outlets in varied terrain.

Climate - Controlled mainly by the Rocky Mountains, weather in the Pike National Forest varies extremely on a yearly, daily and hourly basis. Colorado's high elevation makes the air thinner and harder to breathe. The elevation also makes it easier to get a sunburn, because there is less air between you and the sun to filter ultraviolet light. Temperatures are affected by elevation, cooling four degrees for every 1,000 feet gained.

When hiking, particularly on high mountain peaks, during the summer, morning and early afternoon hikes are best to avoid lightning and thunderstorms. The average yearly precipitation is 16 inches, the majority of which comes in spring and summer. Summer temperatures average 72 degrees during the day. Nighttime freezing temperatures are not uncommon during the summer. The mean winter temperature is 26 degrees. The low humidity on the eastern slopes makes both warm and cold temperatures seem more comfortable.

Location - The Pike National Forest is located south of Denver and north of Cripple Creek, Colorado. It includes the southern half of the Mt. Evans Wilderness Area, where the Pegmatite Points form the northern boundary of the Pike National Forest. The northwestern boundary is made complete by the Continental Divide with the Arapaho National Forest on the northern side of the divide. To the west, the Pike National Forest boundary ends at the Park County Line. The southern boundary of the forest lies north of Cripple Creek on Pikes Peak. To the east the border is formed by Colorado Springs and the central plains. The major river drainage on the Pike National forest is the South Platte, which flows through the western part of the forest from Deckers to Fairplay.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Amit (Lake Forest, IL)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: On our trip, we camped at the springs about 2 or 3 miles away from Mt. Guyot. It was awsome climbing up Mt. Guyot to 13,000+ feet above sea level. We then made our way to tree line about a mile or 2 away from Jefferson lake. It was awsome. We were out for 3 nights and hiked back to our van on the 4th day. I went with a group of 12 icluding myself and we all met through Adventures Cross Country. They were so much fun.

Filed By: Christopher Dorry (Colorado Springs, CO)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Included in the Pike National Forest is Blodgett Peak. Blodgett Peak is found NW of Colorado Springs, and is a rewarding hike for a variety of reasons. Blodgett Peak could be considered a walk-up peak for experienced hikers/mountain climbers, but could be considered difficult for first time and inexperienced climbers. Please check the link for more information if interested.


More Information

Contact Information:
Pike San Isabel National Forests, 1920 Valley Drive , Pueblo, CO, 81008, Phone: 719-545-8737

Additional Information:
Pike and San Isabel National Forests - The Pike San Isabel National Forest is an administrative compact between the two forests southeast of the Continental Divide in Colorado.

Links:
Current Fire Conditions - The current fire conditions in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests.
Pike, San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron, Comanche National Grasslands - The official agency website.

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