- Visitors can access many parts of the Columbine Ranger District via US 550. Excellent fishing, mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing and backpacking are here to tempt outdoor enthusiasts. The beautiful scenery one sees while riding the Durango-Silverton Train helps make the unique experience even more memorable.
Recreation - The steep mountain peaks of the Needles Range offer rugged climbing and backpacking experiences. The Animas river offers rafting and kayaking opportunities for beginners and world-class boaters alike. Purgatory is nearby and offers downhill skiing.
Climate - Cool winds from the arid west make the southern part of the Columbine Ranger District temperatures stay tolerable. Though alpine conditions give most of the area cold winters, the summers are cool.
In the heart of the San Juan Mountains, Columbine Ranger District can be reached via U.S. 550, or U.S. 160. It is the central ranger district of the San Juan National Forest. Visitors can experience the mining heritage of the town of Silverton or the western experience of nearby Durango.