The San Juan National Forest encompasses around 1.8 million acres of land in the southwestern corner of Colorado. In addition to boasting a variety of ski-related activities, visitors can delight in the widespread availability of, well, non-ski-related activities. Put simply, you don’t have to be an enthusiastic skier or rider to enjoy everything San Juan has to offer.
The Forest terrain includes everything from high-desert mesas to alpine peaks, including thousands of miles of back roads and hundreds of miles of trails to explore. The Animas River Trail, for example, is an easy, 1.1-mile trail that showcases a beautiful stretch of Durango, CO. Those wanting a bigger, more intense challenge might tackle part (or all) of the Colorado Trail, a 486-mile-long trail running from the mouth of Waterton Canyon, through San Juan National Forest to Durango. Looking for something between easy and ambitious? Molas Pass is a stunning high mountain pass perfect for the intermediate hiker.
San Juan National Forest is also famous for the abundance of whitewater rafting. Dozens of companies are scattered throughout the forest, allowing for several entrance points and personalized whitewater levels. Not in the mood for adrenaline-boosting activities? The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum is a perfect stop for history lovers, young children, and those looking to take a break from the excitement of nature.
If you are interested in conservation, stewardship, and educational efforts, please refer to our page on Conservation in the San Juan National Forest.