#TBT - South San Juan Wilderness (Colorado) Backpacking - July 2012 - Re-Edit #TBT - South San Juan Wilderness (Colorado) Backpacking - July 2012 - Re-Edit 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. 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 … The South San Juan Wilderness lies on the Rio Grande National Forest near Platoro and Antonito Colorado. The San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado are a patchwork of wildly varied sub-ranges, many tucked away in vast wilderness areas. 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. Mileage on our hiking days ranges from 3–8 miles, with a total of almost 25 miles for the trip (not including layover day hikes). A list of suggested personal equipment will be sent to all participants. (If you would like the list before signing up, let the leader know and he will send you a copy.) Thx Reggie They form the Continental Divide, arcing from near Chama, New Mexico to Silverton and Telluride, Colorado. 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. Participants must be prepared for rain. Day 2: After serving a group breakfast at our campsite and taking care of final details, we will drive to the Red Lake trailhead. Something went wrong. Located in Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests. The majestic San Juan Mountain range is often called America's Switzerland. The TripDesignated by the U.S. Congress in 1980, the South San Juan Wilderness covers about 160,000 acres, with 180 miles of trails and elevations from about 8,000 to 13,000+ feet. Some of the group equipment is relatively bulky; particularly pot sets and bear canisters. 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.. 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. Where: 335 miles southwest of Denver and 230 miles north of Albuquerque. This will allow time for learning wilderness skills, natural history, relaxing, and simply enjoying the great outdoors. The South San Juan Wilderness is located in the San Juan Mountains and was designated wilderness in December 1980. Of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners (peaks that rise over 14,000 feet in elevation), 13 call the San Juans home, including Uncomp Note: Our hiking schedule is not rigid. Of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners (peaks that rise over 14,000 feet in elevation), 13 call the San Juans home, including Uncomp We will see open alpine meadows, sparse and stunted Engelmann spruce, alpine lakes, and exceptional, almost unending panoramic vistas, often hiking above Playing next. Back in 2009, I had spent a couple of nights backpacking in the South San Juan Wilderness. I'm hoping to do a 7-8 day trip at the end of June - early July. This will ensure a smoother start to our trip. I'll have 4 nights, which should give me time to 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. It’s a 60+ mile trek from Cumbres Pass near Chama, New Mexico to Wolf Creek Pass near Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Recreation. 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. AllTrails has 15 great hiking trails, trail running trails, forest trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. 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. South San Juan Wilderness Area. We'll camp by the Dipping Lakes at an elevation of 11,250 feet. The Continental Divide Trail diverges to the left just before you pass the South San Juan Wilderness sign near mile 1.5. Government information and links are at the bottom of this page. Sierra Club National Outings is an equal-opportunity provider and when applicable will operate under permits obtained from U.S. federal land agencies. From Antonito, drive 23 miles west on CO 17 to Forest Road 250, then north 12 miles to the South Fork trailhead. Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. We started at the Tobacco Lake Trailhead and ended at the Southfork Trailhead. The wilderness boundary extends from south of Hwy 160 to just north of Hwy 17. Maps:South San Juan/Del Norte, #142 ($9.95, Trails Illustrated, 800-962-1643). Day 6: Today – our last day together – we will continue along the Elk Creek trail, about 7 miles, losing about 1,400 feet to reach our exit trailhead. Trail Info: San Juan/Rio Grande National Forests, Conejos Peak District, (719) 274-8971. The delightful mountain towns of Durango, Silverton, Pagosa Springs, South Fork and Creede surround and provide access into the wilderness. Measuring 120 miles from east to west and 60 miles from north to south, the nearly 2-million-acre San Juan National Forest has been protected as public land since 1905. We will need to shuttle a few cars to the exit trailhead. Visiting the South San Juan Wilderness Day 1: Our trip officially starts in the early afternoon at a campsite near our entry trailhead. Day 3: Most of today’s hike will be above timberline with awe-inspiring vistas. The last known grizzly bear in Colorado was killed in the wilderness in 1979. 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. I'm looking for any info on the South San Juan Wilderness. They also have the popular Durango Silverton narrow gauge railroad that skirts the west side of the Weminuche. The itinerary described here should be taken as a general plan, and the actual route and schedule may depart from it. The South San Juan wilderness is located in southern Colorado near the towns of Pagosa Springs, South Fork, and Antonito. This is a neighboring wilderness to the larger and more popular Weminuche Wilderness, has 45 miles of the CDT going across it and is known as Colorado's wildest corner. Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the San Juan Mountains. Backpacking Light. Be more. They stretch from the San Luis Valley on the east side to beyond Durango and Telluride on the west. Two Wilderness Areas--the South San Juan The trip difficulty is rated 2 on a scale from 1 to 5, where a rating of 1 would correspond to the least difficult of the trips that we offer and a rating of 5 would denote the most difficult. This summit will put you high above what many consider to be Colorado's finest mountain range. The northern edge extends to Highway 114 west of Sagauche (sa-WACH) and the south end approaches Highway 160. 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. They form the Continental Divide, arcing from near Chama, New Mexico to Silverton and Telluride, Colorado. We will meet so that everyone can introduce themselves, check out our gear, and talk about our trip. This last week I hiked the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) through the South San Juan Wilderness with two of my friends. Green Lake to Blue Lake Loop off 250. hard (3) South San Juan Wilderness. 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. They stretch from the San Luis Valley on the east side to beyond Durango and Telluride on the west. Been looking for decent 20-40 mile loops/lassos in Northern NM and seems like for our interests (lakes w/ fishing, alpine, valleys), there are more options in South San Juan Wilderness just north in Colorado. 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. The clouds have mostly departed from the region, leaving the dawn clear and bright. May 20, 2016 - JULY 2, 2011 - JULY 5, 2011 --- A 3 night, 4 day, 18.5 mile backpacking adventure into the South San Juan Wilderness. We will send a trip roster to all participants well before the trip to help facilitate ride sharing. The route is also covered by  the following 7.5 minute USGS topographic maps: Cumbres, Archuleta Creek, Victoria Lake, and Spectacle Lake. 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. Participants must be in good physical condition and be prepared for the rigorous physical demands of such a trip. For example, reducing our camp footprint by camping in designated campsite, and packing out all that we pack in (including food scraps). Looking for a great trail in South San Juan Wilderness, Colorado? 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. By signing up, you are opting in to receive periodic communications from the Sierra Club. 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? Specific driving directions will also be sent before departure. 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. 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. Share what you know about this area with the community. Colorado's last official griz was killed here in 1979, but unconfirmed sightings persist to this day. 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 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). Please email. We will send a trip roster to all participants well before the trip to help facilitate ride sharing. 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. We also did a day hike before our three day backpacking … Pls email me with what you have at Garrett dot Reggie at gmail dot com. Hiking Colorado’s Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas features fifty-seven of southwestern Colorado’s finest trails–from short day trips to extended backpacking treks.With this comprehensive guide, veteran local hiker Donna Ikenberry provides all the information you need to get the most out of hiking the stunning San Juan Mountains. All on-trip meals are included in the trip fee, beginning with dinner on our first day and including lunch on our last day. The Sierra Club is an environmentally focused entity. 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 shelter, tents are strongly encouraged, and lightweight waterproof tarps are the required minimum. 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. South San Juan Wilderness – Aug. 2020: Trip Report Prior to the backpacking trip my brother and I took in the Weminuche Wilderness in late July (trip report here ) I had done nine other backpacking trips, none of which were in Colorado. Located in Southwest Colorado, the Weminuche Wilderness area (pronounced whem-a-nooch) is the largest Wilderness area in Colorado, spanning 499,771 acres across the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests. Guidebooks, maps, personal info, etc. The South San Juan Wilderness is located in the San Juan National Forest, east of Pagosa Springs, in southern Colorado. Pack less. The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club. Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total) Forums are supported by our merchant partners . All cooking gear and stoves are provided. We were finding lots of 12-17 mile in-and-outs in NM. 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. Looking to learn or refresh backpacking skills? For rain gear, you should bring a waterproof-breathable jacket and waterproof-breathable pants, rather than a poncho. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/colorado/south-san-juan-wilderness Looking to learn or refresh backpacking skills? Containing over 160,000 acres of land, this massive wilderness is governed by the United States Forest Service and it is located within South Central Colorado. 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. 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. Originally designated as wilderness by Congress in 1980, it is a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System and now maintains 158,790 acres. Kershaw, Linda J., Andy MacKinnon, and Jim Pojar. Please do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until notified to do so by the trip leader. It was a fine a It is essential that participants be prepared for extremes in weather conditions, and also be flexible so that we can adapt our route to accommodate unexpected conditions or events. Participants are urged to share their experiences from their local activities, so we can all learn about new areas. 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). We will provide a menu that appeals to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. On the planned layover day, we can explore above the treeline along the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). Our work is accomplished by volunteers and aided by a salaried staff, encouraging grassroots involvement. This will allow time for learning wilderness skills, natural history, relaxing, and simply enjoying the great outdoors. It is our goal to feed you well so that you are well-fueled for daily hiking. We will set up camp in one of the many beautiful meadows along the Elk Creek. 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 … This beginner trip is for you. General Safety Information Ages of volcanic activity followed by Originally designated as Wilderness by Congress in 1980, it is a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System. 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). A high country stunner that defines Colorado wilderness. 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 … 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 … Each of us needs to be prepared to meet these challenges. The leaders will provide physical conditioning recommendations to participants. 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. Description. Home › Forums › Campfire › Post-Trip Reports › South San Juan Wilderness, Conejos River. We will see open alpine meadows, sparse and stunted Engelmann spruce, alpine lakes, and exceptional, almost unending panoramic vistas, often hiking above timberline. Our trek in Southern Colorado’s South San Juan Wilderness is a great location for an introductory trip in a high altitude setting. The Trip Looking to learn or refresh backpacking skills? A buddy and myself had camped out in the Second Meadows along Elk Creek. We chose the South San Juan Wilderness for this trip because we hunt elk there every fall. We tried to make a backpacking loop out of it based on Nat Geo’s 1305 South Colorado Backpacking Loops. Fork Conejos Trail, and El Rito Azul Trail - which in turn provide access to the Continental Divide Trail - in the South San Juan Wilderness. Browse more videos. Been looking for decent 20-40 mile loops/lassos in Northern NM and seems like for our interests (lakes w/ fishing, alpine, valleys), there are more options in South San Juan Wilderness just north in Colorado. © 2020 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Maybe it's the jagged 13,000-foot peaks clawing the sky that make the area seem so raw and foreboding. The South San Juan Wilderness was designated as a national wilderness area by the United States Congress in 1980. This beginner trip is for you. The mountains boast seven wilderness areas including the Weminuche, South San Juan … The fishing: well, the Blanco, San Juan and Conejos Rivers all start their journeys to the oceans here. About 3 miles into the day's journey we will join the CDT. This area has been designated by congressional action as the South San Juan Wilderness… Our daily hiking distances will be moderate. The South San Juan Wilderness was designated as a national wilderness area by the United States Congress in 1980. 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. Desert Hiking and Wildflowers in Joshua Tree National Park, California, Ancient Trails off the South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, Backpacking Paria Canyon: A Week of Visual Surprises, Arizona and Utah, Gliding Through Glacier National Park, Montana, Enchanted Day Hikes in a Desert Paradise, Arizona, National Outings Training Trip: Base Camp Superstition Wilderness, Arizona, Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights, Explore the spectacular South San Juan Wilderness, Relax or hike along the CDT on a planned layover day. There's elbow room to spare in this lofty hiker's haven. On the planned layover day, we can explore above the treeline along the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). This trip can be pieced together from several hikes described in: Information on flora and fauna in the area can be found in: The USGS maps are available by download or purchase at http://store.usgs.gov. This beginner trip is for you. We plan to cover about 3 miles, gaining about 600 feet and losing about 200 feet. It's known as Colorado's wildest corner with … 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. 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 Our daily hiking distances will be moderate. One such hidden gem is (yet another) Crater Lake, tucked away in the South San Juan Wilderness - an area labeled by many as "Colorado's wildest corner". Want to be the first to hear about new trips and exclusive deals? Access to the wilderness is mainly from the north via Hwy 160 or from the east through the town of Antonito. The mountains boast seven wilderness areas including the Weminuche, South San Juan and La Garita. The leaders will be carrying these maps (or parts of them), so it would not be necessary to bring these except for your own interest and curiosity. Our trek in Southern Colorado’s South San Juan Wilderness is a great location for an introductory trip in a high altitude setting. How to beat the crowds and find solitude in the Rockies. There are currently no trips planned. The wilderness encompasses 158,790 acres and is often called Colorado’s wildest corner and is known for its sweeping vistas, solitude, bottomlands, spacious U-shaped valleys, glaciated uplands, jagged mountains and pinnacles, and high, gentle hills. 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. Backpacking 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. 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. Originally designated as Wilderness by Congress in 1980, it is a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System. If the beauty of the Colorado Sangres doesn't leave you breathless, the altitude will. 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 … We'll camp near Red Lake at an elevation of 11,450 feet. We are concerned about conservation and the sustainability of natural resources, both locally and globally. My third and final morning in the Second Meadows of Elk Creek, in the southern San Juan … This beginner trip is for you. We plan to cover about 5.5 miles, gaining about 500 feet and losing about 700 feet. This trail has it all: hiking, river crossings, snow crossings, mud crossings, swamp crossings, the CDT, beautiful lakes, scrambling areas, random side trails that can throw you off course (but you’ll figure them out) and gorgeous views that will take your breath away if the altitude hasn’t! * There may be slight differences between itineraries for various dates. Measuring 120 miles from east to west and 60 miles from north to south, the nearly 2-million-acre San Juan National Forest has been protected as public land since 1905. 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. Hiking Colorado's Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas: A Guide to the Area's Greatest Hiking Adventures (Regional Hiking Series) A successful backpacking experience requires thorough advance planning and preparation. 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. This will allow for relaxing or exploring along the CDT. Dogs on leash Backpacking Camping Hiking Horseback riding Nature trips running Forest Lake River Views Waterfall Wildlife Muddy Over grown Rocky Scramble Snow. Blue Lake Trail is a 10.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pagosa Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. We will provide all food and cooking equipment, although you must bring your own cup, bowl, and spoon. Trail Tips: This is a tough trail both on the ascents and descents. Whoops! Although printed in black and white, the maps and detailed trail descriptions are worth the money you spend on this paperback. The San Juan Mountains are one of the largest distinct mountain systems in the U.S. Hiking Colorado’s Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas Donna Ikenberry’s book is an excellent resource for hiking and backpacking trip planners. We arranged a shuttle and thru-hiked a […] Day 4: We will take a layover day. Daytime temperatures will likely be in the 50s to 60s. It's very popular with fly fisherman and for good reason. The fishing: well, the Blanco, San Juan and Conejos Rivers all start their journeys to the oceans here. Report. The San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado are a patchwork of wildly varied sub-ranges, many tucked away in vast wilderness areas. 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