Uncompahgre Wilderness

The Uncompahgre Wilderness now contains a total of 102,721 acres and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. All of the Wilderness is in the state of Colorado. In 1980 the Uncompahgre Wilderness became part of the now over 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. In an age of "...increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization,..." you play an important role in helping to "...secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by Congress in the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the regulations in place for this area, and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting to ensure protection of its unique natural and experiential qualities.

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply.

Leave No Trace principles:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport are generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles (including OHVs), motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation. In a few areas some exceptions allowing the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport are described in the special regulations in effect for a specific area. Click here for additional regulations or contact the agency.

Contact Information:

216 N Colorado Street
Gunnison, CO 81230
Phone: 970-641-0471

2505 S Townsend
Montrose, CO 81401
Phone: 970-240-5300

216 North Colorado St.
Gunnison, CO 81230
Phone: 970-641-0471

Office hours: 8 AM to 5 PM M-F

Adventure is at Your Fingertips



Iconograph of an evergreen tree

Geographic Coordinates

38.104005, -107.484813


The American Flats portion of the Uncompahgre Wilderness is located approximately 5 miles east of Ouray and approximately 11 miles west of Lake City in Hinsdale County. Access to the area is via the seldom used Horsethief Pack Trail off Hinsdale County Road 30.