|Uncompahgre National Forest|
Wetterhorn Peak in Uncompahgre National Forest
|Location||Colorado, United States|
|Nearest city||Montrose, CO|
|Area||955,229 acres (3,865.67 km2)|
|Established||June 14, 1905|
|Governing body||U.S. Forest Service|
|Website||Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests|
Uncompahgre National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering 955,229 acres (1,492.55 sq mi, or 3,865.68 km2) in (in descending order of land area) parts of Montrose, Mesa, San Miguel, Ouray, Gunnison, Hinsdale, San Juan, and Delta Counties in western Colorado. Only its headquarters is in Delta County, in the city of Delta. It borders the San Juan National Forest to the south.
Within the national forest boundaries can be found the arid Uncompahgre Plateau and the northern portion of the San Juan Mountains. The forest contains three alpine wilderness areas: Uncompahgre (formerly the Big Blue Wilderness), Mount Sneffels, and Lizard Head.
Uncompahgre National Forest was established on June 14, 1905. The Uncompahgre, Grand Mesa, and Gunnison National Forests were all administered separately until 1954 when Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre started to be administered as a single unit, with Gunnison added in 1973. Today, Uncompahgre National Forest is administered jointly with the Grand Mesa and Gunnison National Forests from the Forest Supervisor's Office in Delta, Colorado. [ citation needed ]There are local ranger district offices located in Montrose, Gunnison, and Norwood.
The varied climate, sparse population, and abundance of sun make the Uncompahgre National Forest popular with jeepers, atv'ers, sight seers, and hikers. A common recreational activity within the Forest boundaries is scenic driving, thanks in part to the Million Dollar Highway.[ citation needed ] Some other local attractions include Trout Lake and Bridal Veil Falls, near Telluride.
There are several dirt roads within the Uncompahgre; some are mining roads left from the 1800s mineral rush, others are occasionally used by the Forest Service. Paved roads include the San Juan Skyway, Alpine Loop, the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway and Owl Creek Pass, which is gravel.
There are three officially designated wilderness areas lying within Uncompahgre National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. One of them lies mostly in a neighboring National Forest, while another one extends onto land that is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (as indicated).
San Miguel County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,359. The county seat is Telluride. The county is named for the San Miguel River.
Ouray County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,436. The county seat is Ouray. Because of its rugged mountain topography, Ouray County is also known as the Switzerland of America.
Montrose County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,276. The county seat is Montrose, for which the county is named.
Mesa County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 146,723. The county seat is Grand Junction. The county was named for the many large mesas in the area, including Grand Mesa.
Hinsdale County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 843, making it the third-least populous county in Colorado. With a population density of only 0.75 inhabitants per square mile (0.29/km2), it is also the least-densely populated county in Colorado. The county seat and only incorporated municipality in the county is Lake City. The county is named for George A. Hinsdale, a prominent pioneer and former Lieut. Governor of Colorado Territory.
Gunnison County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,324. The county seat is Gunnison. The county was named for John W. Gunnison, a United States Army officer and captain in the Army Topographical Engineers, who surveyed for the transcontinental railroad in 1853.
Delta County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 30,952. The county seat is Delta.
Montrose is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Montrose County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 19,132 at the 2010 United States Census. The main road that leads in and out of Montrose is U.S. Highway 50. The town is located in cardinal-western Colorado, in the upper Uncompahgre Valley and is an economic, labor, and transportation waypoint for the surrounding recreation industry. It is also the home of a few major engineering projects, namely the Gunnison Tunnel.
Ridgway, coined Gateway to the San Juans, is a Home Rule Municipality in Ouray County, in the southwestern portion of the U.S. State of Colorado. The town is a former railroad stop on the Uncompaghre River in the northern San Juan Mountains. The town population was 713 at the 2000 census and 924 according to the 2010 census.
The Western Slope refers to a region of the state of Colorado incorporating everything in the state west of the Continental Divide. Bodies of water west of the Divide flow toward the Pacific Ocean. Water that falls and flows east of the Divide heads east. The Western Slope encompasses about 33% of the state, but has just 10% of the state's residents. The eastern part of the state, including the San Luis Valley and the Front Range is the more populous portion of the state.
The Uncompahgre River is a tributary of the Gunnison River, approximately 75 mi (121 km) long, in southwestern Colorado in the United States. Lake Como at 12,215 ft (3723m) in northern San Juan County, in the Uncompahgre National Forest in the northwestern San Juan Mountains is the headwaters of the river. It flows northwest past Ouray, Ridgway, Montrose, and Olathe and joins the Gunnison at Confluence Park in Delta.
The Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado is a distinctive large uplift part of the Colorado Plateau. Uncompahgre is a Ute word that describes the water: "Dirty Water" or "Rocks that make Water Red".
Yankee Boy Basin is an alpine basin in Ouray County, southwestern Colorado. It is in the San Juan Mountains, protected within Uncompahgre National Forest.
The Mount Sneffels Wilderness is a wilderness area in southwest Colorado managed by the Uncompahgre National Forest. It is about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of the town of Ouray. The area is named for Mt. Sneffels, which at 14,150 feet (4,310 m) is a prominent fourteener in the San Juan Mountains. The word "Sneffels" is likely an Americanization of the Old Norse word for Snæfell "snow mountain," which is also the namesake of the Snæfellsnes peninsula and Snæfellsjökull volcano in Iceland.
The San Juan Skyway is an All-American Road and a component in the Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway System. It forms a 233.0-mile (375.0 km) loop in the southwest part of the U.S. state of Colorado traversing the heart of the San Juan Mountains. It roughly parallels the routes of the narrow gauge railways: Rio Grande Southern ; and the unconnected Ouray and Silverton Branches of the Denver & Rio Grande along US 550 with the Silverton Railroad bridging a part of the gap. Its origin can be traced to the Around the Circle Route promoted by the D&RG.
Dallas Divide is a high mountain pass in the United States state of Colorado located on State Highway 62 about 12 miles (19 km) west of the town of Ridgway.
The Grand Mesa National Forest is a U.S. National Forest in Mesa, Delta and Garfield Counties in Western Colorado. It borders the White River National Forest to the north and the Gunnison National Forest to the east. The forest covers most of Grand Mesa and the south part of Battlement Mesa. It has a total area of 346,555 acres. It is managed by the United States Forest Service together with Gunnison National Forest and Uncompahgre National Forest from offices in Delta, Colorado. There are local ranger district offices located in Grand Junction.
The Gunnison National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering 1,672,136 acres in Mesa, Gunnison, Hinsdale and Saguache Counties in Western part of the U.S. state of Colorado. It borders the White River National Forest to the north, the Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forests to the west, the San Isabel National Forest to the east and the Rio Grande National Forest to south. It lies in parts of five counties. In descending order of land area within the forest they are Gunnison, Saguache, Hinsdale, Delta, and Montrose counties.
U.S. Route 50 (US 50) is a part of the U.S. Highway System that travels from West Sacramento, California, to Ocean City, Maryland. In the U.S. state of Colorado, US 50 is a major highway crossing through the lower midsection of the state. It connects the Western Slope with the lower Front Range and the Arkansas Valley. The highway serves the areas of Pueblo and Grand Junction as well as many other smaller areas along its corridor. The long-term project to upgrade the highway from two lanes to a four lane expressway between Grand Junction and Montrose was completed in January 2005. Only about 25% of the remainder of highway 50 in Colorado is four lane expressway.