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San Juan National Forest - 4 Things to Know Before Visiting

Colorado, USA

Lake/ River/ Ponds
1 Day Treks

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About San Juan National Forest

The San Juan National Forest is located in southwestern Colorado and is composed of 1,867,800 acres of mainly coniferous forests and alpine meadows. Camping or hiking, you’ll have the adventure of a lifetime in the San Juans; it’s an outdoor paradise, with huge alpine peaks and endless forests. The forest contains two alpine wilderness areas; the Weminuche and South San Juan, as well as the Piedra Area. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad passes through the National Forest.

Attractions Near San Juan National Forest

Haviland Lake
Haviland Lake4.21km from San Juan National Forest

Haviland Lake is an 80-acre, no-wake lake with excellent boating, canoeing and fishing opportunities. The campground is situated on the shore of Haviland Lake, among shady, towering ponderosa pines, at an elevation of 8,705 feet. Visitors enjoy the area for its canoeing, fishing and hiking opportunities in a scenic, natural setting. The popular campground is beautiful any time of the year.

Electra Lake
Electra Lake4.35km from San Juan National Forest

Electra Lake is a private, man-made reservoir located roughly 23 miles north of Durango in La Plata County, Colorado. The reservoir's maximum capacity is 29,800 acre⋅ft. The lake is open to the public for fee use during the summer months.

Purgatory Resort
Purgatory Resort10.53km from San Juan National Forest

A majestic ski resort located in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado. It offers 105 trails, including 5 terrain parks, over 1,500 skiable acres, and 12 lifts, including one six-person and two high speed quad lift. Facilities at the resort include condos that are rented out by their owners to vacationing tourists, a nightclub/bar at the bottom of the ski slopes by the chair lifts, a shuttle that goes back and forth from the resort to the nearby town of Durango.

Pinkerton Hot Springs
Pinkerton Hot Springs10.95km from San Juan National Forest

Pinkerton Hot Springs are nature’s gift to the tiny town of Durango. Located a few miles out of town on Highway 550, these springs were discovered in the early 1800s by James Pinkerton. The actual spot from where the water gushes out from the earth are covered by a man-made rock pile. The water’s minerals have made the rocks colourful with time.

Hermosa Creek Trail
Hermosa Creek Trail12.45km from San Juan National Forest

The Hermosa Creek Trail is one of the best and most popular trails in the Durango area. There are several route options including an out and back on the singletrack portion of Hermosa Creek Trail. The main trail is very obvious. You will see several trail junctions along the way, but the main Hermosa Creek Trail is always the most well-worn route.

Potato Lake
Potato Lake13.23km from San Juan National Forest

Potato Lake is a beautiful spot located in San Juan County, Colorado. The lake is surrounded by mountains and is a popular destination for hiking, camping, and fishing. Potato Lake is home to a variety of fish, including trout, pike, and bass. Visitors can also enjoy swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. In addition to its natural beauty, Potato Lake is also home to a number of historical sites, including the ruins of an old mining town.

Where is San Juan National Forest

Discover More Attractions in Hinsdale County, Where San Juan National Forest Is Located

Hinsdale County
Hinsdale County
34 attractions

Hinsdale County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. Hinsdale County is covered by mountains, including five 14,000 and over 20 13,000 ft. peaks, and contains one of the most roadless areas in the country.