Uncompahgre National Forest Canvas Prints
Uncompahgre National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering 955,229 acres (1,492.55 sq mi, or 3,865.68 km²) in (in descending order of land area) parts of Montrose, Mesa, San Miguel, Ouray, Gunnison, San Juan, and Delta Counties in western Colorado. Only its headquarters is in Delta County, in the city of Delta. It borders the San Juan National Forest to the south. Within the national forest boundaries can be found the arid Uncompahgre Plateau and the northern portion of the San Juan Mountains. The forest contains three alpine wilderness areas, Uncompahgre (formally the Big Blue), Mount Sneffels and Lizard Head. The Uncompahgre National Forest is managed jointly with the Grand Mesa and Gunnison National Forests headquartered in Delta. There are local ranger district offices located in Montrose and Norwood. The varied climate, sparse population, and abundance of sun make the Uncompahgre National Forest popular with jeepers, atv'ers, sight seers, and hikers. A common recreational activity within the Forest boundaries is scenic driving, thanks in part to the Million Dollar Highway. There are several dirt roads within the Uncompahgre | some are mining roads left from the 1800s mineral rush, others are occasionally used by the Forest Service. Paved roads include the San Juan Skyway, Alpine Loop, the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway and Owl Creek Pass, which is gravel.