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Colorado > Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
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Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests


Division Map

Cebolla Ranger District- The Cebolla Ranger District encompasses the southeast end of the Gunnison National Forest. It is located to the east and south of the town of Gunnison.
Collbran Ranger District- The Collbran Ranger District encompasses the northern half of the Grand Mesa National Forest.
Grand Junction Ranger District- The Grand Junction Ranger District encompasses the southern half of the Grand Mesa and the northern end of the Uncompahgre Plateau. It is located to the south and east of Grand Junction, around Delta and Cedaredge.
Grand Mesa National Forest- The Grand Mesa National Forest lies to the east of Grand Junction, around the towns of Collbran and Cedaredge. The Gunnison, Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forests are administratively combined.
Gunnison National Forest- The Gunnison National Forest encompasses part of Colorado's central mountains, around the towns of Gunnison and Crested Butte. The Gunnison, Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forests are administratively combined.
Norwood Ranger District- The Norwood Ranger District on the Uncompahgre National Forest encompasses a portion of the Uncompahgre Plateau near Norwood, the San Juan Mountains (south of the San Miguel River) and terrain surrounding Telluride.
Ouray Ranger District- The Ouray Ranger District encompasses the south and east ends of the Uncompahgre Plateau and the northern San Juan Mountains around the town of Ouray.
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.
Taylor River Ranger District- The Taylor River Ranger District encompasses the portion of the Gunnison National Forest north of Gunnison and Blue Mesa Reservoir. It includes the area around Crested Butte and the Taylor River drainage.
Uncompahgre National Forest- The Uncompahgre National Forest lies in western and southwest Colorado, around the towns of Montrose, Ouray, Telluride and Norwood. The Gunnison, Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forests are administratively combined.

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Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
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General Information

Description - The Grand Mesa National Forest encompasses the Grand Mesa, which is one of the world's largest flattop mountains and has an average elevation of 10,000 feet. It is dotted with over 300 alpine lakes and reservoirs.

The Uncompahgre National Forest includes the Uncompahgre Plateau, portions of the San Juan Mountains and three wilderness areas. The Uncompahgre Plateau rises to 10,000 feet and water draining from the top has cut gorges and canyons along the sides of the plateau. The San Juan Mountain Range, within the region, contains four peaks over 14,000 feet and another 100 peaks over 13,000 feet in elevation. It includes the Uncompahgre, Mount Sneffels and Lizard Head Wilderness Areas. Telluride Ski Area offers downhill skiing opportunities.

The Gunnison National Forest encompasses part of Colorado's central Rockies and includes two peaks over 14,000 feet, as well as 20 peaks over 13,000 feet in elevation. The La Garita, Collegiate Peaks, Fossil Ridge, Maroon Bells-Snowmass, Raggeds and West Elk Wildernesses are popular backcountry areas. Crested Butte Ski area provides downhill skiing and snowboarding opportunities.

Recreation - Popular recreation activities in this large and diverse area include downhill and cross-country skiing, developed and dispersed camping, four-wheel driving, sightseeing, hunting, fishing, hiking, boating, snowmobiling, picnicking, mountain biking, horseback riding, mountain climbing and backpacking.

Climate - Elevations in this area range from around 5,000 feet to over 14,000 feet, creating large climate variations. Summer high temperatures in much of the forest areas reach into the 70s and low 80s while temperatures commonly reach into the 90s around the towns of Delta and Montrose. Evenings are cool, with temperatures that can often dip into the 30s in the high country. Afternoon summer thunderstorms are common. Snow is possible at any time of year in the highest elevations. The high elevation roads and trails are often not clear of snow until at least mid-July. The relative humidity is quite low throughout the year.

Winter lows occasionally dip to minus 35 degrees, though daytime temperatures are often in the 20s to 30s. Much of the precipitation comes in the winter, when heavy snow can be expected in most forest areas.

Location - The combined forests include much of west-central Colorado. It begins in the east at Monarch Pass on the Continental Divide and continues west to the Utah border. The region extends south from the Grand Mesa to the San Juan Mountains. Some of the primary towns surrounded by the forests include Gunnison, Crested Butte, Montrose, Delta, Cedaredge, Hotchkiss, Paonia, Ouray and Telluride.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison Supervisors Office, 2250 Highway 50 , Delta, CO, 81416, Phone: 970-874-6600, TTY: 970-874-6660

Additional Information:
Colorado National Forests & Parks - Colorado is well known for its National Forests and Parks which include 14,000-foot mountains, world-class ski resorts, semiarid deserts, ancient Indian ruins and wide open plains.

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