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Colorado > Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests > Uncompahgre National Forest
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Uncompahgre National Forest


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Norwood Ranger District- The Norwood Ranger District on the Uncompahgre National Forest encompasses a portion of the Uncompahgre Plateau near Norwood, the San Juan Mountains (south of the San Miguel River) and terrain surrounding Telluride.
Ouray Ranger District- The Ouray Ranger District encompasses the south and east ends of the Uncompahgre Plateau and the northern San Juan Mountains around the town of Ouray.

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General Information

Description - The Uncompahgre Plateau rises to 10,000 feet and water draining from the top has cut gorges and canyons along the sides of the plateau. The Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway follows the Dolores River Canyon on the west side of the Uncompahgre Plateau. The San Juan Mountain Range has four peaks over 14,000 feet and another 100 peaks over 13,000 feet in elevation. It includes the Uncompahgre, Mount Sneffels and Lizard Head Wilderness Areas.

Ouray, known as the Switzerland of America, offers access to many four-wheel drive opportunities on primitive mining roads in the area. The San Juan Skyway winds for 232 miles through the San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests, offering views of spectacular, rugged and primitive country as well as cultural and historical sites. Telluride Ski Area offers world-class downhill skiing and snowboarding opportunities.

Recreation - Popular recreation activities on the Uncompahgre 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 can reach into the 70s and low 80s. Evenings are cool, with temperatures that can often dip into the 30s. 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 can 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 most forest areas.

Location - The Uncompahgre National Forest lies in western and southwest Colorado, near the towns of Montrose, Ouray, Telluride and Norwood. The Forest includes much of the Uncompahgre Plateau and the San Juan Mountains.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests - Supervisor's Office, 2250 Highway 50 , Delta, CO, 81416, Phone: 970-874-6600

Ouray Ranger District, 2505 South Townsend , Montrose, CO, 81401, Phone: 970-240-5300

Norwood Rnager District, P.O. Box 388 , Norwood, CO, 81423, Phone: 970-327-4261

Additional Information:
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.
Southwest Region - This region lies south of the Elk Mountains and Grand Mesa and west of the Continental Divide. It includes spectacular mountains, and varied terrain that supports recreation activities of many types and all skill levels.

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