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Raggeds Wilderness

Paonia Ranger District- The Paonia Ranger District encompasses the northwest portion of the Gunnison National Forest. It includes much of the North Fork of the Gunnison River drainage and the West Elk Mountains.

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General Information

Description - Elevations within Raggeds Wilderness ranges from 7,000 feet to over 13,000 feet. The 65,000-acre area includes over 90 miles of trails. One of the highlights of the Raggeds is Dark Canyon, which was formed from Anthracite Creek and supports some scenic trails. Oh-Be-Joyful Pass is located west of Crested Butte and is part of a beautifully glaciated valley. Ruby Mountain Range, Mount Justice and Marcellina Mountain provide scenic vistas along the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway.

Recreation - Foot and pack animal travel are permitted within wilderness boundaries. (The use of mechanized and motorized vehicles is prohibited.) Visitors may enjoy the solitude of the Raggeds Wilderness through horseback riding, hiking, backpacking, fishing, cross-country skiing and backcountry skiing.

Climate - Weather for the area can vary greatly; but generally, you can expect a cool mountain climate with scattered rain showers throughout the summer months. Normally, the Raggeds Wilderness area is snow free from July to September, but conditions depend on the elevation and amount of snowfall each winter. Lower elevations from around 7,000 to 8,500 feet may become snow free by early June, but some creek and river water levels tend to be high. The annual precipitation varies from 25 inches to 40 inches.

Location - This wilderness area is located in Gunnison County, Colorado, between Crested Butte, Paonia and Marble, on the western slope. The northern section of the Raggeds is in the Sopris Ranger District of the White River National Forest; the southern portion of this region is located in the Paonia Ranger District of the Gunnison National Forest.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Gunnison National Forest, Paonia Ranger District, N. Rio Grande Ave , Paonia, CO, 81428, Phone: 970-527-4131

Additional Information:
Colorado Wilderness Areas - Some of the most spectacular terrain in Colorado is preserved within Colorado's extensive system of Wilderness Areas.

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