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Weminuche Wilderness (Pagosa District)


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Weminuche Wilderness (Pagosa District)
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General Information

Description - The Weminuche Wilderness lies on both the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests. The area encompasses over 490,000 acres of roadless forests. Elevations in the area range from 8,000 to 14,083 feet. The headwaters for the San Juan and Rio Grande Rivers are included within the wilderness, as well as approximately 80 miles of the Continental Divide. The wilderness is buffered by the Carson Peak Roadless Area to the north, the Sin Miguel Roadless Area to the northwest and the Piedra Area to the south. Access to the wilderness can be gained from Highway 550, south of Silverton, Highway 149, south of Lake City, and Highway 160, west of Wolf Creek Pass.

The Pagosa District of the San Juan National Forest Administers the southeastern portion of the Weminuche Wilderness area. There are four developed trailheads in this area: Poison Park, Williams Creek, Middle Fork and Fourmile. The area includes an extensive trail system and several peaks reaching heights above 12,000 feet. The Continental Divide Trail forms the northern boundary of this area.

Recreation - Recreation opportunities in this, as well as all other wilderness areas is limited to non-motorized and non-mechanized travel. Horseback riding, hiking and backpacking opportunities abound on many miles of trails within the region.

Climate - Mountainous terrain influences the climate visitors find in the Weminuche Wilderness. In general, the climate in the lower elevations is arid, with cool nights and hot days while the high country is cold with heavy precipitation.

Summer is short and frost may occur anytime in high elevations. Annual temperature extremes range from 90 degrees in summer to 30 degrees below zero in winter. Rapid weather changes, with temperature changes of 40 degrees in periods as short as four to six hours, occur frequently.

Location - The Pagosa Ranger District contains the southeastern portion of the Weminuche Wilderness. U.S. Highway 160 provides access to this portion of the area with Pagosa Springs being the closest town.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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More Information

Contact Information:
Pagosa Ranger District, 2nd and Pagosa, P.O. Box 310 , Pagosa Springs, CO, 81147, Phone: 303-267-2268

Additional Information:
Pagosa Ranger District - This is the eastern most ranger district in the San Juan National Forest. It lies around the town of Pagosa Springs and reaches up to Wolf Creek Pass and the Continental Divide.

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