Uncompahgre Wilderness

 Uncompahgre Wilderness (Photo by Bob Wick)
The Uncompahgre Wilderness consists of gently rolling alpine tundra meadows, rugged, mountainous landscapes, and densely-forested canyons within the north-central San Juan Mountains. This wilderness boasts two "fourteeners" (on USFS-managed land) and more than 34 other peaks that tower over 13,000 feet in elevation. Visitors can explore over 100 miles of trails that provide excellent opportunities for various forms of recreation.

Several forks of the Cimarron River roar through the wilderness and numerous alpine lakes and streams that are scattered throughout. A few small lakes and many streams contain trout. From this wilderness are countless, breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains. 


Total Area:
3,390 acres
Elevation Range: ~8,400 to ~14,300 feet
BLM Field Office: Gunnison
Designated: 1980 (National Wilderness Preservation System); 1993 (wilderness absorbed American Flats)

Location: The Uncompahgre Wilderness is located in Ouray and Hinsdale counties, approximately five miles east of Ouray and 10 miles west of Lake City. This wilderness extends an additional 99,331 acres onto USFS land.

Flora & Fauna:
Vegetation consists mainly of spruce, fir, meadow grasses, forbs, and mountain shrubs. Fauna includes elk, deer, mountain lion, moose, black bear, bighorn sheep, marmots, pika, and ptarmigans.

Recreation: Activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, mountaineering, rock climbing, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, and photography. For more information, visit the Recreation page. Please note that though unconfined recreation is encouraged in wilderness, specific types of recreation may be barred from a specific area to prevent degradation of wilderness conditions.

Click here for additional information and maps for the Uncompahgre Wilderness from the Gunnison Field Office.

As stated in the Wilderness Act of 1964, Sec. 4 (c), "...there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area."


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Gunnison Field Office  |  (970) 642-4940  |  650 S. 11th St., Gunnison, CO 81230