San Juan National Forest gives nature-loving travelers over a million acres to roam and explore. Discover five things to do in San Juan National Forest.
Hike Scenic Trails
San Juan National Forest encompasses about 1.8 million acres in the southwestern corner of Colorado, so it’s no surprise that it is full of hiking trails. Whether seeking a solitary walk or the most popular routes, you’ll find plenty to enjoy in the San Juan Mountains.
Ice Lake Trail is a heavily frequented trail that’s 3.75 miles long; from start to end, the trail ascends almost 3,000 feet. If you complete the trail, you’ll be rewarded with the charms of a beautiful lake basin that contains Ice Lake.
Enjoy Water Sports
Water sports are another fun pastime to enjoy in San Juan National Forest. Boating, river and stream fishing, kayaking, and rafting are all popular water-based activities.
Pagosa Springs offers one-third, half-, and full-day guided whitewater rafting trips. Adventurers who want to take in the river at a more relaxed pace might prefer river tubing instead.
Visit Chimney Rock National Monument
Chimney Rock National Monument contains Chimney Rock Archeological Area, which covers 960 acres. The Ancestral Puebloans, also known as the Anasazi, inhabited the area almost a millennium ago.
Between specific dates in May and September, the visitor center conducts daily guided walking tours. You can learn about the thousands of people who settled in the region and their way of life as you admire the breathtaking landscape. Consider visiting nearby Mesa Verde to learn more about the region’s prehistoric communities.
Photograph Landscapes and Attractions
Dramatic mountains, lush forests, and picturesque lakes make San Juan National Forest a gem for photography enthusiasts. Whether a professional or hobbyist, you’ll find plenty of worthwhile subjects throughout your trip.
Capture stunning sunsets over aged peaks, the blooms of delicate wildflowers, or vibrant fall colors. Rustic bridges create evocative sights, and for a vision of the Old West, try to snap a picture of the steam train running between Durango and Silverton.
Drive the San Juan Skyway
The San Juan Skyway is one of the most popular scenic drives in the San Juan National Forest. This byway takes travelers through picturesque mountains and historic mining towns.
The San Juan Skyway loop transports you through dusty lowlands, river valleys, and alpine peaks. It’s one of the best road trips in America for nature lovers.
Embark on an unforgettable journey through San Juan National Forest after you secure an off-road car rental in Montrose. Diff.’s off-road capable rigs take you into the heart of Colorado’s wilderness. Book a Jeep, Subaru, or Ford with us today.