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White River National Forest


Aspen Ranger District Sopris Ranger District Eagle Ranger District Sopris Ranger District Rifle Ranger District Rifle Ranger District Blanco Ranger District Eagle Ranger District Holy Cross Ranger District Dillon Ranger District ImageMap - turn on images!!!

Aspen Ranger District- The Aspen Ranger District encompasses some spectacular mountain terrain in the Elk Mountains, and Sawatch Range.
Blanco Ranger District- The Blanco Ranger District encompasses the northwest portion of the White River National Forest. It includes much of the Flat Tops Mountains and the upper White River drainage.
Dillon Ranger District- The Dillon Ranger District includes much of Summit County, Colorado; the area surrounding Silverthorne, Dillon, and Breckenridge. The district lies along the western side of the Continental Divide.
Eagle Ranger District- The Eagle Ranger District surrounds the towns of Eagle and Gypsum.
Holy Cross Ranger District- The Holy Cross Ranger District surrounds the towns of Vail, Minturn and Avon.
Rifle Ranger District- The Rifle Ranger District of the White River National Forest is located around the town of Rifle, west of Glenwood Springs.
Sopris Ranger District- The Sopris Ranger District surround the communities of Carbondale, Basalt, Redstone and Marble.

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General Information

Maroon Bells in early autumn
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
Maroon Bells in early autumn
Description - The White River National Forest encompasses two and one-quarter million acres of Colorado's central mountains, including many of Colorado's resort destinations. The scenic beauty of the area, along with ample developed and undeveloped recreation opportunities on the Forest, accounts for the fact that the White River consistently ranks as one of the top five Forests nationwide for total recreation use.

Attractions - The scenic beauty of the area, along with ample developed and undeveloped recreation opportunities on the Forest, accounts for the fact that the White River consistently ranks as one of the top five Forests nationwide for total recreation use. The Forest provides an excellent variety of recreation opportunities in all seasons. Visitors can enjoy eleven ski areas, eight designated wildernesses, several National Trails, approximately 70 Forest Service administered developed sites (campgrounds, picnic grounds, boat ramps and observation sites) and over two and one-quarter million acres for general motorized and non-motorized backcountry enjoyment.

Fall in the White River National Forest is brief but spectacular, as changing aspens cloak the mountains in gold. Peak color time, while variable, is normally the last part of September. Crisp, sunny days mingle with early snowstorms in what many consider the premier season of the year.

Recreation - Popular recreation activities on the White River National Forest include downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, developed and dispersed camping, jeeping, sightseeing, hunting, fishing, hiking, boating (including sailing and white water rafting) snowmobiling, picnicking, biking,horseback riding and backpacking.

Outstanding downhill skiing and snowboarding opportunities await you at Arapaho Basin, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Buttermilk, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Ski Sunlight, Snowmass and Vail ski areas, all of which are located on the White River National Forest. Also enjoy nordic skiing near Frisco, at Ashcroft, as well as on the Tenth Mountain, USSA/Alfred Braun and Summit Huts and Trails Systems. Snowmobile recreation opportunities are available in many national forest locations. The Fourmile Park and Flat Tops areas are among the most popular.

Climate - The elevation of the White River National Forest ranges from 5,000 to 14,000 feet. Most of the campgrounds are between 5,400 and 10,000 feet. Persons coming from lower elevations should be aware that time is needed to adjust to the higher elevations.

Warm days and cool to freezing nights can be expected in the mountains during the summer. July and August are usually the warmest months. During this time afternoon thunderstorms are common. Be prepared for both warm and chilly weather, as well as for rain showers.

Winter brings the abundant powder snowfall for which Colorado is famous. Most winter recreation, including skiing and snowmobiling, occurs between Thanksgiving and Easter, but high-elevation sites offer good snow much later into the spring. Safe winter travel in the backcountry demands respect, knowledge and preparedness to deal with changing weather conditions and avalanche hazards.

Location - The two and one-quarter million acre White River National Forest is located in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, approximately two to four hours west of Denver on Interstate 70. The White River encompasses much of the area from the Continental Divide, west to Rifle and from Meeker, south beyond Aspen. It includes much of the area around some of Colorado's well known destinations such as Breckenridge, Vail, Glenwood Springs and Aspen.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Updated: 2004-03-16 13:57:00.0

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Tim (Westminster, CO)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Stayed near Marble, CO, 4 days. One of the quieter campgrounds I've stayed at over the years. Great weather and scenery. Suggest reservations at the local camp sites as they tend to be full at all times. Great experience.

Filed By: Alfred
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Great water supply with a nice climb through a saddle at 13,000 FT. Missouri Lakes are to busy with young day hikers and numerious trails not on the map but Cross Creek Trail was a nice trail with only a few people seen on the trail. Harvey lake side trail is impossible to find and we were not the only group having this problem. All in all it is a nice 3-4 day trip


More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Contact Information:
Supervisor's Office, P.O. Box 948, 9th & Grand , Glenwood Springs, CO, 81601, Phone: 970-945-2521, Fax: 970-945-3266

Additional Information:
Colorado National Forests & Parks - Colorado is well known for its National Forests and Parks which include 14,000-foot mountains, world-class ski resorts, semiarid deserts, ancient Indian ruins and wide open plains.
Northwest Region - This diverse area encompasses mountains and high desert. The terrain supports a huge variety of recreation opportunities and some of Colorado's world famous resorts.

Links:
Aspen Times' Snowmass Coverage - The oldest of Aspen's two newspapers has an online section devoted to Snowmass Village.
Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association - Community information provided by the chamber of commerce for Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Home of the famous hot springs pool and the headquarters of the White River National Forest.
National Forest Foundation - NFF was created in 1990 by the U.S. Congress to serve as the official non-profit partner of the USDA Forest Service.
Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers - Volunteer Opportunities In This Area
VailAlive.com - Local community information guide for the Vail-Beaver Creek area.
White River National Forest - Official Forest Service website.

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