Description - The Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District includes about 500,000 acres and terrain ranges from sagebrush flats to forested mountains. There are a wide variety of year-round recreation opportunities available to visitors. The ranger district office is in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
- The Steamboat Ski Area is the best known attraction on the Hahns Peak Ranger District. Steamboat Ski Area is operated by the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. The area has over a 3,600 foot vertical rise from the base area to the summit of Mt. Werner at 10,568 feet. There are 2,939 skiable acres accessed on 128 trails. There are 21 lifts with a capacity of 29,941 skiers per hour.
Fish Creek Falls is a very popular scenic area just east of Steamboat Springs. Rabbit Ears Pass and Buffalo Pass lie further east of town. Both of these areas provide access to a wide range of summer and winter activities. These areas have campgrounds, winter and summer trails, lakes and streams. Buffalo Pass offers an access point to the southern end of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness.
Elk River Road accesses much of the northern end of the district which encompasses a large part of the Elk River drainage. Just beyond Clark, Seedhouse Road leads to the northeast, providing access to two campgrounds, numerous trails, including trails into the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, streams and lakes. THE UPPER END OF SEEDHOUSE ROAD AND MUCH OF THE SURROUNDING AREA HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY THE ROUTT DIVIDE TREE BLOWDOWN AND ARE PRESENTLY INACCESSIBLE BY VEHICLE. SEVERAL TRAILS AND SEEDHOUSE CAMPGROUND ARE SCHEDULED TO BE CLEARED IN SUMMER 1999.
Hahns Peak Lake, Pearl Lake State Park and Steamboat Lake State Park lie to the north of Clark. State Park or Forest Service campgrounds are found around each of these lakes. The areas around these lakes and to the north of Columbine offer numerous trail and four-wheel drive roads. Some of the trails in this area are open to motorized travel such as ATVs, motorcycles and snowmobiles.
To the north of Hayden and Craig lie the Elkhead Mountains. California Park, Slater Park, Bears Ears Peaks, Black Mountain and Freeman Reservoir are some of the attractions in this relatively remote and unpopulated portion of the district. There are numerous trails and streams in this area but only two campgrounds. The area receives relatively light use throughout much of the year, but is a very popular area for big game hunting during the fall hunting seasons.
Recreation - The Hahns Peak/Bears Ears District has hundreds of miles of Forest Service trails. These trails offer a variety of opportunities for hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, motorcycling, hunting and, in the winter, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Ten Forest Service campgrounds are located on the district. These campgrounds offer varying levels of services. Backcountry and dispersed camping opportunities also exist. Be sure to follow the backcountry and dispersed camping regulations and 'Leave No Trace' principles to ensure the next forest visitor an equal experience.
Downhill skiing is a very popular winter recreation activity on the district. The other popular winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Climate - Elevations on the district range from about 7,000 feet to over 12,000 feet. For summer, expect warm days and cool to freezing nights, especially in the high country. The months of July and August are considered the warmest and most high mountain lakes are free of ice during this period. Much of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness remains inaccessible until early or mid-July. Be prepared for both warm and chilly weather. Bring matches, candles, warm clothing and bedding and extra food, when venturing into the back country. Know the signs of hypothermia! It is just as easy to become chilled in the summer as it is in the winter, so carry proper rain gear and extra clothing at all times. The rainy season lasts from mid-July through August, when afternoon thunderstorms should be expected. The first snow can fly any time after the first of September!
Although the skies are often sunny, winter temperatures can be very cold. Abundant snowfall is received which supports the many winter activities found on the district. Average annual snowfall ranges from 170-450 inches depending on location and elevation. The Park Range is known to receive some of the heaviest snows in Colorado.
The Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District lies in northwest Colorado, approximately 150 to 200 miles northwest of Denver. It is located near the towns of Steamboat Springs, Hayden and Craig.
This region encompasses the northwest portion of the Routt National Forest. The District takes in the west side of the Park Range, from Rabbit Ears Pass north to the Wyoming Border. This portion of the Park Range forms Colorado's northern extent of the Continental Divide. The District also runs west through the Elkhead Mountains, where Black Mountain and Bears Ears Peaks can be found.