Our work is accomplished by volunteers and aided by a salaried staff, encouraging grassroots involvement. Of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners (peaks that rise over 14,000 feet in elevation), 13 call the San Juans home, including Uncomp We will provide all food and cooking equipment, although you must bring your own cup, bowl, and spoon. The clouds have mostly departed from the region, leaving the dawn clear and bright. Miles of beautiful scenic trails with close-up views of towering mountain peaks and crystal clear lakes, along with peaceful solitude, reward those backpacking on the San Juan … Originally designated as wilderness by Congress in 1980, it is a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System and now maintains 158,790 acres. The South San Juan Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located in the San Juan National Forest, east of Pagosa Springs, in southern Colorado.. Our outings seek to empower participants toward greater understanding, advocacy, and participation in the goals of the Club. The leaders will provide physical conditioning recommendations to participants. The National Geographic/Trails Illustrated map South San Juan, Del Norte (map #142) covers the entire route. From there, it's a steady descent back into the trees where the well-designed trail contours around through lush wildflowers and offers an occasional view into the East Fork Valley. Afternoon thunderstorms, lightning, hail, snow, and high winds can occur this time of the year. Recreation. Containing nearly 160,000 acres of land, this massive wilderness is governed by the United States Forest Service and it is located within South Central Colorado. Trail Info: San Juan/Rio Grande National Forests, Conejos Peak District, (719) 274-8971. They stretch from the San Luis Valley on the east side to beyond Durango and Telluride on the west. South San Juan Wilderness Day Four – Blue Lake to Middle Fork of the Conejos River (aka the day of the flying dog) : Liz and I adopted this canine from the Boulder Humane Society, Emma, that will forever be a … This probably is Colorado's wildest expanse, straddling 50 miles of the Continental Divide north of the New Mexico border. It's known as Colorado's wildest corner with … Giving your body an extra couple of days to adjust to the elevation can often make a big difference between enjoying the trip or merely just enduring it. Our daily hiking distances will be moderate. I wake, my second morning in the Second Meadows of Elk Creek in the southern San Juan Mountains. Keep in mind, as well, that at least 1 hour of the hike (in the middle of it) will be at, or above, treeline - so, do factor that into your timing if thunderstorms are in the forecast. It was a fine a There's elbow room to spare in this lofty hiker's haven. The South San Juan Wilderness offers some of the best backpacking experience in Colorado, with more than 180 miles of established trails, including a 42-mile section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. The Trip Looking to learn or refresh backpacking skills? Our objectives are to enjoy some spectacular country, complete the trip safely as a group, and learn backpacking basics. Neighboring towns: Pagosa Springs, Southfork, Del Norte, Monte Vista, Summitville, Platoro, Chromo (Choma, New Mexico) Many call the South San Juan Wilderness Colorado's wildest corner. The itinerary described here should be taken as a general plan, and the actual route and schedule may depart from it. Our entry trailhead is located about 23 miles from the town of Chama, NM off Colorado Highway 17. Nighttime and early morning temperatures could dip into the upper 20s. Wilderness Areas: San Juan National Forest encompasses 4 Wilderness areas which make the perfect backpacking experience. Trip members arriving from other parts of the country should explore the option of flying to one of these cities (Santa Fe and Durango have limited air service) and sharing a rental car or arranging a ride. -- and the wildflowers match. Over time, the area has become a destination for outdoor recreation and wilderness adventures, giving visitors access to a handful of 14,000-foot summits, scenic wilderness areas, and cultural and historical treasures. We will see open alpine meadows, sparse and stunted Engelmann spruce, alpine lakes, and exceptional, almost unending panoramic vistas, often hiking above timberline. Some believe that it is still home to a few grizzlies, but there is no sufficient evidence yet to prove this. Originally designated as Wilderness by Congress in 1980, it is a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Dogs on leash Backpacking Camping Hiking Horseback riding Nature trips running Forest Lake River Views Waterfall Wildlife Muddy Over grown Rocky Scramble Snow. We'll camp by the Dipping Lakes at an elevation of 11,250 feet. The wilderness boundary extends from south of Hwy 160 to just north of Hwy 17. While this is a beginner backpack, participants need to be fit, be dedicated to training to meet the demands of this specific trip, and invest in proper equipment. Wilderness Areas: San Juan National Forest encompasses 4 Wilderness areas which make the perfect backpacking experience. There are currently no trips planned. For example, reducing our camp footprint by camping in designated campsite, and packing out all that we pack in (including food scraps). Blue Lake Loop, South San Juan Wilderness, CO Situated south of Platoro Reservoir, this 17.7 mile hike offers a mix of wooded valleys, alpine meadows and a an … Daytime temperatures will likely be in the 50s to 60s. Two of our campsites will be above 11,000 feet and the third will be at about 10,000 feet. We will meet so that everyone can introduce themselves, check out our gear, and talk about our trip. Our trek in Southern Colorado’s South San Juan Wilderness is a great location for an introductory trip in a high altitude setting. The campground where we'll meet is about 300 miles from Denver, about 200 miles from Albuquerque, and about 150 miles from Sante Fe and Durango. I'm looking for any info on the South San Juan Wilderness. Participants must be prepared for rain. Pls email me with what you have at Garrett dot Reggie at gmail dot com. The trailhead for Crater Lake is a fair distance off any major highway - roughly 18 miles off of US Highway 160 - in close proximity to relatively unknown Elwood Pass (Forest Road 380). 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They stretch from the San Luis Valley on the east side to beyond Durango and Telluride on the west. By signing up, you are opting in to receive periodic communications from the Sierra Club. Backpacking Light. The South Fork Trail culminates at Blue Lake beneath the Divide, where you can peer west to the Tierra Amarilla Land Grant (site of the '79 grizzly encounter). If the beauty of the Colorado Sangres doesn't leave you breathless, the altitude will. The South San Juan Wilderness offers some of the best backpacking experience in Colorado, with more than 180 miles of established trails, including a 42-mile section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. We will need to shuttle a few cars to the exit trailhead. This beginner trip is for you. The South San Juan Wilderness lies on the Rio Grande National Forest near Platoro and Antonito Colorado. The South San Juan Wilderness was designated as a national wilderness area by the United States Congress in 1980. Ready for some activity? Crowd-free, rocky mountain highs -- you'll find this and more in Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness. We were finding lots of 12-17 mile in-and-outs in NM. South San Juan Wilderness The South San Juan Wilderness encompasses 158, 790 acres of some of the most remote and pristine land in Southern Colorado. Looking to learn or refresh backpacking skills? Guidebooks, maps, personal info, etc. This part of the San Juan Mountains is mostly made of high, flat plateaus rather than the serrated peaks that come to mind in most people’s minds when discussing the Rocky Mountains. Be more. This will be a 5-day, 4-night backpacking trip (plus 2 travel days) in the scenic South San Juan Wilderness in SW Colorado. Some of the group equipment is relatively bulky; particularly pot sets and bear canisters. The day's journey is about 8 miles, with 1,400 feet of elevation loss and 200 feet of gain, with our campsite at about 10,000 feet. They stretch from the San Luis Valley on the east side to beyond Durango and Telluride on the west. I'll have 4 nights, which should give me time to Sat, Jul 25, 2009, 6:00 AM: Big Mountains in the Summertime!This will be a 5-day, 4-night backpacking trip (plus 2 travel days) in the scenic South San Juan Wilderness in SW Colorado. I … The route is also covered by  the following 7.5 minute USGS topographic maps: Cumbres, Archuleta Creek, Victoria Lake, and Spectacle Lake. The San Juan Mountains are one of the largest distinct mountain systems in the U.S. We are concerned about conservation and the sustainability of natural resources, both locally and globally. Although participation in this outing does not require previous backpacking experience, carrying a 40-pound pack on trail with elevation changes is physically challenging. For the return leg, use Glacier Lake, Twin Lake, Conejos, and Roaring Gulch Trails, and you'll cross alpine cirques, glacially carved tundra, and subalpine meadows. The South San Juan Wilderness was designated as a national wilderness area by the United States Congress in 1980. This summit will put you high above what many consider to be Colorado's finest mountain range. The delightful mountain towns of Durango, Silverton, Pagosa Springs, South Fork and Creede surround and provide access into the wilderness. Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total) Forums are supported by our merchant partners . This will ensure a smoother start to our trip. From Antonito, drive 23 miles west on CO 17 to Forest Road 250, then north 12 miles to the South Fork trailhead. We will provide a menu that appeals to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. (If you would like the list before signing up, let the leader know and he will send you a copy.) They form the Continental Divide, arcing from near Chama, New Mexico to Silverton and Telluride, Colorado. Each of us needs to be prepared to meet these challenges. These measures will help keep the wilderness as pristine as before so that those who come after us will have the same sense of discovery that we will have. Contact the leader for details. Hiking Colorado’s Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas Donna Ikenberry’s book is an excellent resource for hiking and backpacking trip planners. For shelter, tents are strongly encouraged, and lightweight waterproof tarps are the required minimum. This was a backpacking trip that my third cousin (yeah, really), Devin, a kid from Church, Landon, and I went on to the South San Juan Wilderness. It will take you to lakes, streams and above the timberline for some amazing vistas. San Juan Mountains Backpacking Adventures Sunday, July 19 – Friday, July 24, 2015 AREA DESCRIPTION: The San Juan Mountains are a range of the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The last known grizzly bear in Colorado was killed in the wilderness in 1979. This would be a great opportunity for us to scout for new elk hunting areas and do some hiking and tout fishing along the way. South San Juan Wilderness The South San Juan Wilderness encompasses 158, 790 acres of some of the most remote and pristine land in Southern Colorado. South San Juan Wilderness, CO 1/11 Tucked deep within a glacial bowl beneath two rugged 13,000-foot peaks, Crater Lake is one of the more accessible subalpine lakes in the Southern San Juans. Covid summer has made recreation around Santa Fe quite popular at basically all times, so I decided to explore the South San Juans instead a few times this summer. Share what you know about this area with the community. It's very popular with fly fisherman and for good reason. The leaders will provide pre-trip correspondence and information to help make this possible. Basic instruction will be provided on topics such as: selecting and organizing gear, ensuring wilderness safety, reading topographic maps, cooking on portable stoves, picking out a tent site, and following Leave No Trace principles. Colorado's last official griz was killed here in 1979, but unconfirmed sightings persist to this day. We started at the Tobacco Lake Trailhead and ended at the Southfork Trailhead. The majestic San Juan Mountain range is often called America's Switzerland. It is well known to backpackers because it will drop them off at Needleton for a hike to the Chicago Basin and the Needle Mountains. I have a trip coming up the week of August 19th, my current plan is to hike the Elk Creek/Valle Victoria loop in the South San Juan Wilderness. Participants are encouraged to arrive a day or two early to start acclimatizing to the very high elevations we will encounter from the very beginning of the trip. Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Blue Lake Loop, South San Juan Wilderness, CO Situated south of Platoro Reservoir, this 17.7 mile hike offers a mix of wooded valleys, alpine meadows and a an … Trip members will be divided into cook crews to assist with preparing our meals and washing the pots and pans afterward. If you visit Crater Lake, please do your part to keep that from happening in the South San Juan Wilderness - every person and animal who visits the area will appreciate your effort. We will travel lightly upon the land by learning and practicing Leave No Trace principles throughout the trip. The Sierra Club is an environmentally focused entity. All on-trip meals are included in the trip fee, beginning with dinner on our first day and including lunch on our last day. We'll camp near Red Lake at an elevation of 11,450 feet. On the planned layover day, we can explore above the treeline along the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). We chose the South San Juan Wilderness for this trip because we hunt elk there every fall. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/colorado/south-san-juan-wilderness This will allow for relaxing or exploring along the CDT. Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. A sobering uneasiness about your place in the local food chain notwithstanding, you can trek an incredible 26-mile circle route by stitching together five trails within this 158,790-acre wilderness. The South San Juan wilderness is located in southern Colorado near the towns of Pagosa Springs, South Fork, and Antonito. Playing next. The San Juan Mountains are one of the largest distinct mountain systems in the U.S. This will allow time for learning wilderness skills, natural history, relaxing, and simply enjoying the great outdoors. Browse more videos. The South Fork Trail culminates at Blue Lake beneath the Divide, where you can peer west to the Tierra Amarilla Land Grant (site of the '79 grizzly encounter). Two Wilderness Areas--the South San Juan Please email. Specific driving directions will also be sent before departure. The fishing: well, the Blanco, San Juan and Conejos Rivers all start their journeys to the oceans here. In the months before the trip, the leaders will provide participants with detailed information about gear and clothing requirements to help ensure a safe trip. Each person needs to keep the weight of personal gear below 25 pounds (including your backpack and 1 to 2 liters of water) so that with the addition of approximately 12 to 15 pounds of commissary equipment and food total pack weight will be less than 40 pounds at the start. The South San Juan Wilderness is located in the San Juan National Forest, east of Pagosa Springs, in southern Colorado. The South San Juan Wilderness Topographic Hiking Map is a waterproof, tear-resistant map covering all hiking trails in the South San Juan Wilderness in the southern San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado and surroundings with a 1:63,360 scale (1 in = 1 mi). Hiking Colorado's Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas: A Guide to the Area's Greatest Hiking Adventures (Regional Hiking Series) [Ikenberry, Donna] on Amazon.com. The Trip Looking to learn or refresh backpacking skills? A buddy and myself had camped out in the Second Meadows along Elk Creek. 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