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Conejos River Canyon General Forest Area


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General Information

Conejos River, wide angle looking south down the canyon from the flats above South Fork Junction - 8.75
Copyright: McGuire - US Forest Service
Conejos River, wide angle looking south down the canyon from the flats above South Fork Junction - 8.75
Description - This area contains a concentration of hiking, biking and pack trails; four-wheel drive roads; campgrounds and fishing sites. It is immediately east of the South San Juan Wilderness, and immediately west of the La Jara Reservoir State Wildlife Area. The Continental Divide lies approximately 6 miles west of Platoro Reservoir with several 12,000 and 13,000 foot peaks along its length.

Due to its intensive recreational use, the Conejos River Canyon has been designated a special management area. Special regulations have been established to protect the scenic beauty and natural resources of the canyon and to optimize your recreational experience. Within the Conejos River Canyon, camping is limited to designated areas and campgrounds and vehicles must stay on forest roads.

Private lands are scattered along the river and permission should be secured from land owners before private property is entered. Cooperative agreements have been made with many of the landowners along the river; persons are welcome to cross these lands where official signs are posted.

Recreation - Numerous summer recreation opportunities exist in the immediate area of the Conejos River Road. Fishing, camping, fishing, hiking and backpacking facilities are provided in the area. The South San Juan Wilderness lies west of the northern section of the road, therefore mountain biking and four-wheel driving are restricted to the eastern shore of the Conejos River.

Climate - Mountainous terrain influences the climate visitors find. Elevations range from 7,500 feet to over 14,000 feet at the top of several mountain peaks. In general, the climate at low elevations is cool and arid while the high country is cold and humid. Average precipitation varies from under 8 inches at the 8,000 foot level 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 - The Conejos River can be reached by going west on Highway 17 from Antonito. Conejos River Road 250 heads north off Highway 17 to Platoro Reservoir. Highways 160 and 285 are the largest thoroughfares in the area. Visitors can also reach the reservoir from the north on Forest Road 380 from Highway 160 near Wolf Creek Pass.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Conejos Peak Ranger Station, 15571 County Road T-5, P.O. Box 420 , La Jara, CO, 81140, Phone: 719-274-6301, TTY: 719-274-3139

Additional Information:
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.
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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