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Colorado > Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests > Taylor River Ranger District
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Taylor River Ranger District


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General Information

Description - Included in this ranger district is Taylor Reservoir and the mountainous region surrounding it. This area was first used by the Ute Indians and then fortune-seeking miners, and now praised by recreation enthusiasts of all types. The Fossil Ridge Wilderness area lies within this district and provides solitude for those who access it. The public land around Almont brings large mammals of all types, especially during winter when it is closed to vehicle traffic.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort in the northern end of the area provides world-class recreation opportunities in all seasons and is best known for extreme skiing terrain. Several mountain passes open during the summer months and provide access to this area from the north, west and east. The West Elk Wilderness is your best bet for true wilderness experience in the region.

Recreation - Popular recreation activities on the Taylor River Ranger District include hunting, fishing, mountain biking, downhill skiing, snowboarding, mountain climbing, backpacking, developed and dispersed camping, boating, four-wheel driving, sightseeing, horseback riding, hiking, picnicking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

Climate - Summer high temperatures in much of the forest areas reach into the 70s and low 80s. 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 frequently dip well below zero though daytime temperatures are normally in the 20s to 30s. Much of the precipitation comes in the winter, when heavy snow can be expected in the high elevations.

Location - The Taylor River Ranger District encompasses a portion of the Gunnison National Forest north of Gunnison and Blue Mesa Reservoir. It includes the Taylor River drainage and the area around Crested Butte.


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: Leigh Elmore (Kansas City;, MO)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Actually, I looking for recommendations on a 3-day backpacking trip in the Crested Butte area for three middle=aged guys who try to deny it.


More Information

Contact Information:
Gunnison National Forest, 216 North Colorado , Gunnison, CO, 81230, Phone: 970-641-0471

Additional Information:
Crested Butte Area - The town of Crested Butte began as a supply town for silver mining activity in the surrounding mountains. In the early 1880s rich coal veins were discovered in the town and the mining of these lodes carried the local economy into the 1950s. Today tourism supports business owners in the community.
Delta Area - Delta is located at the junction of Highways 50 and 92. The Gunnison River runs through town leading east toward Gunnison and northwest toward Grand Junction.
Fossil Ridge Wilderness - The Fossil Ridge Wilderness lies in the Gunnison River Basin area and has recently been expanded from 33,060 to 76,960 acres.
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests - The Gunnison, Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forests of west-central and southwestern Colorado are administratively combined. Some of the primary towns surrounded by the forests include Gunnison, Crested Butte, Montrose, Delta, Cedaredge, Hotchkiss, Paonia, Grand Junction, Ouray and Telluride.
Gunnison Area - Gunnison is located in the southwestern section of Colorado. It is the namesake of Captain John W. Gunnison, a surveyor for the U.S. Geological Survey, who was killed after scouting the area in 1853.
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.
Montrose Area - Montrose lies in the fertile Uncompahgre River Valley. This area was once used by Ute Indians for farming and hunting. Today it serves the many ranchers and recreationists that use the surrounding terrain.
Uncompahgre Wilderness - The Uncompahgre Wilderness encompasses more than 98,000 acres on the Uncompahgre National Forest. It lies south of Curecanti National Recreation Area, northwest of Lake City and northeast of Ouray.
West Elk Wilderness - The West Elk Wilderness is a government designated natural area located between Gunnison, Paonia and Crested Butte, Colorado.

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