- 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 partially located within the forest.
One hundred and thirty miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail corridor exists within this forest. Taylor Canyon and Reservoir provides opportunities for fishing, rafting and camping. Crested Butte Ski Area provides downhill skiing and snowboarding opportunities. The Silver Thread Scenic Byway connects Lake City with South Fork, while the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway circles the West Elk Wilderness. Other Points of interest in the Gunnison area include Curecanti National Recreation Area, Blue Mesa Reservoir and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument.
Recreation - Popular recreation activities on the Gunnison National Forest 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 - 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 often 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.
The Gunnison National Forest encompasses part of Colorado's central mountains, around the towns of Gunnison, Crested Butte and Paonia. The forest lies just west of the Continental Divide. It includes portions of the West Elk Mountains, the Elk Mountains, The Sawatch Range and the La Garita Mountains.