Gunnison County, Colorado is home to more than two million acres of public land. Most of that public land is part of Gunnison National Forest and is managed and protected by the United States Forest Service. The forest offers many recreation opportunities for visitors and locals including hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing, mountain biking, camping, OHV and horseback riding. This land and the recreation it offers is one of the greatest assets of the Gunnison Valley.
The forest is used by many people for a variety of activities. Know what activities are allowed and where before you go. Abide by all posted signs and maps in the different regions of the forest.
There are parts of five different designated wilderness areas in the Gunnison Valley: the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, the Raggeds Wilderness, the West Elk Wilderness, the Fossil Ridge Wilderness and the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. They offer scenic trails for hiking, backpacking and horseback riding. Hunting and fishing are also allowed in some of these wilderness areas.
Other zones in the Forest offer different recreation opportunities. Mechanized trails allow mountain bikes and other non-motorized access. Miles and miles of trails are accessible to motorized vehicles, such as dirt bikes, as well.
Our ability to continue to experience these lands depends on all of us to treat each other with respect and follow forest rules and good common sense. The primary principles include obeying all closures and access restrictions as well as using Leave No Trace (LNT) practices to minimize our impact.