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A Quick Guide for ATV Users in the Lake City Area


The spectacular scenery and ghost towns of the San Juan Mountains offer a variety of recreation opportunities for visitors to the Lake City area. All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are one of the many ways visitors travel to enjoy these opportunities. Since ATVs are not street legal, Hinsdale County has passed special resolutions to allow visitors to legally ride their ATVs on designated county roads.

The Hinsdale County Resolution requires that:

  • All ATV operators on County roads must have a valid valid motor vehicle license in their possession. No underage drivers are allowed!
  • All ATV operators are strongly encouraged to wear a helmet.
  • All Colorado residents must have their ATVs registered with the Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation (Registration Unit, 13787 South Highway 85, Littleton, CO 80125)
    • State Registration Permits are valid April 1 through March 31. The cost is $15.25 annually.
  • If you are not a resident of Colorado, your ATV should be registered with Colorado as above whether it is registered in your home state or not. Non-residents must possess proof of non-residency when riding their ATV.

In Lake City you can register your ATV at:

  • Sportsman's Texaco Station & Garage
    Highway 149 South (Wade's Addition)
    Lake City, CO 81235
    (970) 944-2525
  • Lake City Auto Sports Center
    Highway 149 North
    Lake City, CO 81235
    (970) 944-2311

Federal Lands in Hinsdale County

Ninety-six percent of Hinsdale County is located on National Forests and BLM administered lands.  Ride responsibly -- have the proper maps and be aware of restrictions on ATV use.

For More Information & Travel Maps:

Lake City Visitors Center
(USFS, BLM, and Chamber)
PO Box 430
Lake City, CO 81235
(970) 944-2527

USFS Rio Grande National Forest
1803 West Highway 160
Monte Vista, CO 81144
(719) 852-5941

BLM Gunnison Field Office
650 South 11th Street  
Gunnison, Colorado 81230
(970) 641-4940

BLM San Juan Field Office &
USFS San Juan National Forest

15 Burnett Court
Durango, CO 81401
(970) 247-4874

USFS Gunnison Ranger District
216 North Colorado
Gunnison, CO 81230
(970) 641-0471


Guidelines for Safe and Responsible Use:

Take Care of yourself !

  • We encourage you to enroll in an approved ATV riders course.
  • Always wear a helmet and other appropriate safety gear.
  • Ride within posted speed limit or slower if conditions warrant.
  • ATVs operated between sunset and sunrise must have at least one operating headlight and one red tail light.
  • Roads are also used by full sized vehicles and motorcycles. Stay alert and be aware of other traffic.
  • Stay on your side of the road especially on blind curves.
  • Use hand signals to indicate you intentions for other motorists.
  • Take adequate food, water, rain gear, sun screen, and emergency supplies.

Take Care of the Land !

  • Stay on designated roads.
  • Do Not harass wildlife.
  • Wilderness areas are CLOSED to all motorized travel - year round.

More links 

Created by the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado
Point of Contact:
Arden Anderson
Last modified: January 30, 2006