Description. Some believe that it is still home to a few grizzlies, but there is no sufficient evidence yet to prove this. Originally designated as Wilderness by Congress in 1980, it is a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System. I'm hoping to do a 7-8 day trip at the end of June - early July. They stretch from the San Luis Valley on the east side to beyond Durango and Telluride on the west. 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. Participants must be in good physical condition and be prepared for the rigorous physical demands of such a trip. Pack less. Our objectives are to enjoy some spectacular country, complete the trip safely as a group, and learn backpacking basics. A high country stunner that defines Colorado wilderness. It's known as Co 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. This will allow time for learning wilderness skills, natural history, relaxing, and simply enjoying the great outdoors. 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. › South San Juan Wilderness › Green Lake to Blue Lake Loop off 250. 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. We will send a trip roster to all participants well before the trip to help facilitate ride sharing. Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. The San Juan Mountains are one of the largest distinct mountain systems in the U.S. We tried to make a backpacking loop out of it based on Nat Geo’s 1305 South Colorado Backpacking Loops. I'm looking for any info on the South San Juan Wilderness. We are concerned about conservation and the sustainability of natural resources, both locally and globally. Or maybe it's the thought of grizzlies. 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). South San Juan Wilderness, CO 1/11 Tucked deep within a glacial bowl beneath two rugged 13,000-foot peaks, Crater Lake is one of the more accessible subalpine lakes in the Southern San Juans. 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 plan to cover about 5.5 miles, gaining about 500 feet and losing about 700 feet. By signing up, you are opting in to receive periodic communications from the Sierra Club. 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. 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 beginner trip is for you. They form the Continental Divide, arcing from near Chama, New Mexico to Silverton and Telluride, Colorado. Backpacking The South San Juan Wilderness. 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. Your pack should be sufficiently large to carry an item about the size of a full paper grocery bag (alternatively, four or five one-gallon milk jugs) in addition to your personal gear. It's very popular with fly fisherman and for good reason. 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. If you visit Crater Lake, please do your part to keep that from happening in the South San Juan Wilderness - every person and animal who visits the area will appreciate your effort. Our trek in Southern Colorado’s South San Juan Wilderness is a great location for an introductory trip in a high altitude setting. The leaders will provide physical conditioning recommendations to participants. There's elbow room to spare in this lofty hiker's haven. Two Wilderness Areas--the South San Juan 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). 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. Accessible just south of Plataro, Colorado the San Juan Wilderness is home to the Epic Loop. Besides being home to a mythical reptile, Colorado's Lizard Head Wilderness is the site of some great hiking. Note: Our hiking schedule is not rigid. Originally designated as wilderness by Congress in 1980, it is a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System and now maintains 158,790 acres. Afternoon thunderstorms, lightning, hail, snow, and high winds can occur this time of the year. Those peaks greedily wring summer's monsoon and feed it to verdant, almost impenetrable forests and meadows. 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. The South San Juan Wilderness lies on the Rio Grande National Forest near Platoro and Antonito Colorado. Looking to learn or refresh backpacking skills? Our outings seek to empower participants toward greater understanding, advocacy, and participation in the goals of the Club. The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club. General Safety Information Ages of volcanic activity followed by 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). Something went wrong. They stretch from the San Luis Valley on the east side to beyond Durango and Telluride on the west. My third and final morning in the Second Meadows of Elk Creek, in the southern San Juan … #TBT - South San Juan Wilderness (Colorado) Backpacking - July 2012 - Re-Edit #TBT - South San Juan Wilderness (Colorado) Backpacking - July 2012 - Re-Edit The TripDesignated by the U.S. Congress in 1980, the South San Juan Wilderness covers about 160,000 acres, with elevations from about 8,000 to 13,300 feet. A group dinner will be served. Be more. Our trek in Southern Colorado’s South San Juan Wilderness is a great location for an introductory trip in a high altitude setting. Our trek in Southern Colorado’s South San Juan Wilderness is a great location for an introductory trip in a high altitude setting. Crowd-free, rocky mountain highs -- you'll find this and more in Colorado's 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. We started at the Tobacco Lake Trailhead and ended at the Southfork Trailhead. A list of suggested personal equipment will be sent to all participants. For shelter, tents are strongly encouraged, and lightweight waterproof tarps are the required minimum. This trip is tailored to beginner backpackers who are interested in developing skills associated with wilderness travel. 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. Whoops! Looking to learn or refresh backpacking skills? This will allow time for learning wilderness skills, natural history, relaxing, and simply enjoying the great outdoors. Please do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until notified to do so by the trip leader. Although participation in this outing does not require previous backpacking experience, carrying a 40-pound pack on trail with elevation changes is physically challenging. Home › Forums › Campfire › Post-Trip Reports › South San Juan Wilderness: Elk Creek/CDT/South Fork Conejos Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total) Forums are supported by our merchant partners ( disclosure ) Nighttime and early morning temperatures could dip into the upper 20s. We will see open alpine meadows, sparse and stunted Engelmann spruce, alpine lakes, and exceptional, almost unending panoramic vistas, often hiking above We were finding lots of 12-17 mile in-and-outs in NM. Our daily hiking distances will be moderate. 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. 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. Fork Conejos Trail, and El Rito Azul Trail - which in turn provide access to the Continental Divide Trail - in the South San Juan Wilderness. Access to the wilderness is mainly from the north via Hwy 160 or from the east through the town of Antonito. Gain a raptor's-eye view of the world in Colorado's Eagles Nest Wilderness. 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. Day 4: We will take a layover day. 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. The Continental Divide Trail diverges to the left just before you pass the South San Juan Wilderness sign near mile 1.5. Given the untamed lay of this land, it's not hard to figure why holdout bears would choose the South San Juans as their last stronghold. 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 … Our trek in Southern Colorado’s South San Juan Wilderness is a great location for an introductory trip in a high altitude setting. 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. This will ensure a smoother start to our trip. 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. For example, reducing our camp footprint by camping in designated campsite, and packing out all that we pack in (including food scraps). 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. We will provide all food and cooking equipment, although you must bring your own cup, bowl, and spoon. The TripDesignated by the U.S. Congress in 1980, the South San Juan Wilderness covers about 160,000 acres, with elevations from about 8,000 to 13,300 feet. Playing next. It's known as Colorado's wildest corner with … Two of our campsites will be above 11,000 feet and the third will be at about 10,000 feet. 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. The San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado are a patchwork of wildly varied sub-ranges, many tucked away in vast wilderness areas. We will send a trip roster to all participants well before the trip to help facilitate ride sharing. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/colorado/south-san-juan-wilderness A buddy and myself had camped out in the Second Meadows along Elk Creek. 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. Day 3: Most of today’s hike will be above timberline with awe-inspiring vistas. The San Juan Mountains are one of the largest distinct mountain systems in the U.S. I'll have 4 nights, which should give me time to Trail Info: San Juan/Rio Grande National Forests, Conejos Peak District, (719) 274-8971. This will be a 5-day, 4-night backpacking trip (plus 2 travel days) in the scenic South San Juan Wilderness in SW Colorado. For the return leg, use Glacier Lake, Twin Lake, Conejos, and Roaring Gulch Trails, and you'll cross alpine cirques, glacially carved tundra, and subalpine meadows. Basic instruction will be provided on topics such as: selecting and organizing gear, ensuring wilderness safety, reading topographic maps, cooking on portable stoves, picking out a tent site, and following Leave No Trace principles. This beginner trip is for you. 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 … 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. Wilderness travel brings a variety of challenges, including exposure to high altitude, primitive camping, extreme weather changes, and sore feet from carrying heavy packs. 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. 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. Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. The delightful mountain towns of Durango, Silverton, Pagosa Springs, South Fork and Creede surround and provide access into the wilderness. The San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado are a patchwork of wildly varied sub-ranges, many tucked away in vast wilderness areas. We will see open alpine meadows, sparse and stunted Engelmann spruce, alpine lakes, and exceptional, almost unending panoramic vistas, often hiking above Share what you know about this area with the community. The South San Juan Wilderness is located in the San Juan Mountains and was designated wilderness in December 1980. 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. General Safety Information Ages of volcanic activity followed by This summit will put you high above what many consider to be Colorado's finest mountain range. 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. 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. Ready for some activity? 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 were finding lots of 12-17 mile in-and-outs in NM. The mountains boast seven wilderness areas including the Weminuche, South San Juan and La Garita. 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. Hiking Colorado's Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas: A Guide to the Area's Greatest Hiking Adventures (Regional Hiking Series) It is our goal to feed you well so that you are well-fueled for daily hiking. Pls email me with what you have at Garrett dot Reggie at gmail dot com. Dogs are also able to use this trail. 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. The last known grizzly bear in Colorado was killed in the wilderness in 1979. 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 … On the planned layover day, we can explore above the treeline along the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). Participants are urged to share their experiences from their local activities, so we can all learn about new areas. Maybe it's the jagged 13,000-foot peaks clawing the sky that make the area seem so raw and foreboding. Day 1: Our trip officially starts in the early afternoon at a campsite near our entry trailhead. Our daily hiking distances will be moderate. Recreation. Participants must be prepared for rain. Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total) Forums are supported by our merchant partners . The Trip Looking to learn or refresh backpacking skills? We arranged a shuttle and thru-hiked a […] We will meet so that everyone can introduce themselves, check out our gear, and talk about our trip. It was a fine a Government information and links are at the bottom of this page. Dogs on leash Backpacking Camping Hiking Horseback riding Nature trips running Forest Lake River Views Waterfall Wildlife Muddy Over grown Rocky Scramble Snow. 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. Colorado's last official griz was killed here in 1979, but unconfirmed sightings persist to this day. Our entry trailhead is located about 23 miles from the town of Chama, NM off Colorado Highway 17. How far we get each day and where we camp depends on how we feel, the weather, and other factors outside our control. Each person needs to keep the weight of personal gear below 25 pounds (including your backpack and 1 to 2 liters of water) so that with the addition of approximately 12 to 15 pounds of commissary equipment and food total pack weight will be less than 40 pounds at the start. Our work is accomplished by volunteers and aided by a salaried staff, encouraging grassroots involvement. Although printed in black and white, the maps and detailed trail descriptions are worth the money you spend on this paperback. The clouds have mostly departed from the region, leaving the dawn clear and bright. We will set up camp in one of the many beautiful meadows along the Elk Creek. Specific driving directions will also be sent before departure. The northern edge extends to Highway 114 west of Sagauche (sa-WACH) and the south end approaches Highway 160. We plan to cover about 3 miles, gaining about 600 feet and losing about 200 feet. Thx Reggie While this is a beginner backpack, participants need to be fit, be dedicated to training to meet the demands of this specific trip, and invest in proper equipment. This beginner trip is for you. The mountains boast seven wilderness areas including the Weminuche, South San Juan … If the beauty of the Colorado Sangres doesn't leave you breathless, the altitude will. Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the San Juan Mountains. 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. 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.. * There may be slight differences between itineraries for various dates. © 2020 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Day 2: After serving a group breakfast at our campsite and taking care of final details, we will drive to the Red Lake trailhead. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October. Back in 2009, I had spent a couple of nights backpacking in the South San Juan Wilderness. They also have the popular Durango Silverton narrow gauge railroad that skirts the west side of the Weminuche. Wilderness Areas: San Juan National Forest encompasses 4 Wilderness areas which make the perfect backpacking experience. 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). They stretch from the San Luis Valley on the east side to beyond Durango and Telluride on the west. Trip members will be divided into cook crews to assist with preparing our meals and washing the pots and pans afterward. Located in Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests. 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. A 4 day backpacking adventure into Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness. 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. The fishing: well, the Blanco, San Juan and Conejos Rivers all start their journeys to the oceans here. 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. Kershaw, Linda J., Andy MacKinnon, and Jim Pojar. Browse more videos. Daytime temperatures will likely be in the 50s to 60s. The South San Juan wilderness is located in southern Colorado near the towns of Pagosa Springs, South Fork, and Antonito. We chose the South San Juan Wilderness for this trip because we hunt elk there every fall. 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. The route is also covered by  the following 7.5 minute USGS topographic maps: Cumbres, Archuleta Creek, Victoria Lake, and Spectacle Lake. 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 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. How to beat the crowds and find solitude in the Rockies. Home › Forums › Campfire › Post-Trip Reports › South San Juan Wilderness, Conejos River. This last week I hiked the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) through the South San Juan Wilderness with two of my friends. 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). Some of the group equipment is relatively bulky; particularly pot sets and bear canisters. Originally designated as Wilderness by Congress in 1980, it is a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System. I wake, my second morning in the Second Meadows of Elk Creek in the southern San Juan Mountains. Want to be the first to hear about new trips and exclusive deals? -- and the wildflowers match. (If you would like the list before signing up, let the leader know and he will send you a copy.) The majestic San Juan Mountain range is often called America's Switzerland. We just returned from an incredible 5 day backpacking trip to the South San Juan Wilderness in SW Colorado. 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. This will allow for relaxing or exploring along the CDT. They form the Continental Divide, arcing from near Chama, New Mexico to Silverton and Telluride, Colorado. All on-trip meals are included in the trip fee, beginning with dinner on our first day and including lunch on our last day. Guidebooks, maps, personal info, etc. Of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners (peaks that rise over 14,000 feet in elevation), 13 call the San Juans home, including Uncomp Sierra Club National Outings is an equal-opportunity provider and when applicable will operate under permits obtained from U.S. federal land agencies. 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 wilderness boundary extends from south of Hwy 160 to just north of Hwy 17. From Antonito, drive 23 miles west on CO 17 to Forest Road 250, then north 12 miles to the South Fork trailhead. 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. 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. Backpacking Light. 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! All cooking gear and stoves are provided. 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. There are currently no trips planned. The South San Juan Wilderness encompasses the southeastern extent of the San Juan Mountain Range, including a segment of the Continental Divide. A successful backpacking experience requires thorough advance planning and preparation. We'll camp near Red Lake at an elevation of 11,450 feet. Two Wilderness Areas--the South San Juan We also did a day hike before our three day backpacking … 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. 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. The itinerary described here should be taken as a general plan, and the actual route and schedule may depart from it. Specific driving directions will also be sent before departure. 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Relaxing or exploring along the CDT sky that make the perfect backpacking experience awe-inspiring vistas ] the trip safely a. Those peaks greedily wring summer 's monsoon and feed it to verdant almost. Fly fisherman and for good reason my friends provide physical conditioning recommendations to.... Mountain systems in the Rockies participants are urged to share their experiences from their local,...

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