San Juan National ForestCurrently Open
- Address: Antonito, CO 81120, USA, Durango, United States
- Timings: 24-hrs Details
- Ticket Price: Free
- Time Required: 05:00 Hrs
- Tags: Outdoors, Forest, View Point, Hiking Trail, Scenic Drive, Family And Kids, Adventure, Adventure Sport
San Juan National Forest - Review
Situated to the north of Durango is the San Juan National Forest, a lush green layer that spreads over mountains, peaks, river and lake sides. This forest is one of the top places for camping and hiking in Colorado. Besides this, you can head to this forest for cross-country skiing, rafting, horseback riding, biking, fishing, boating etc. The narrow-gauge railway line between Durango and Silverton runs through the middle of this forest. You can also take your vehicle for a drive on the scenic San Juan Skyway that will take you to the many villages surrounding this forest. For those with an adventurous streak, the Needles Mountains in the Weminuche Wilderness Area beckons.
San Juan National Forest Information
- Make sure you take all the necessary precautions before entering the reserve. Listen to all the instructions provided by the activity guides.
- Do not go wandering alone in the forest.
How To reach San Juan National Forest by Public Transport
- You will have to hire a car to get here.
Love this? Explore the entire list of things to do in Durango before you plan your trip.
Fancy a good night's sleep after a tiring day? Check out where to stay in Durango and book an accommodation of your choice.
Things to Know Before Visiting San Juan National Forest
27.05% of people who visit Durango include San Juan National Forest in their plan
08 AM - 09 AM
63.16% of people start their San Juan National Forest visit around 08 AM - 09 AM
People usually take around 5 Hrs to see San Juan National Forest
95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting San Juan National Forest
San Juan National Forest Trips
San Juan National Forest, Durango Reviews
We took a 4 wheel drive up La Plata Canyon from my dad's house in Mayday. This was the first time I had been up there in 15 years. My kids had fun driving up to see waterfalls, pick wild raspberries, and hike around the parking along the Colorado trail. The forest service now maintains a lot of road up the canyon now. But to get to the top you need a Jeep or truck with clearance and 4 wheel drive. The road can be rough for most of the last few miles up. The times to get up to the top on Google maps are way off, expect 2.5 hours from the highway to the parking area or end of the road notch. Also remember the speed limit is only 25 MPH after 4 miles from the highway.
Absolutely beautiful locations. Can't wait to go back and explore some more. Would highly recommend visiting San Juan National Forest. Make sure you have plenty of time to explore. Highly recommend!
Madden Peak Road campground is a free dispersed forest camping area. It's a good location for exploring the area. There's a lot to do in the area and the campground makes a good base camp. The road in is typical dusty gravel but it's only about a mile to the campsites. The campground is different than most of the dispersed forest areas I have been to, with more bushes than pine trees. However, it appears that there are several fairly flat, fairly private sites to choose from. I was happy with the site I found a short way down FR-568. Target Tree Campground is just east of Madden Peak for $20 per night.
It was beautiful. If you can handle long drive and even longer hike then it's worth it. It's best to have a long stick or hiking poles it makes it easier especially for people who aren't used to climbing. The air does get thin and it can get you winded at first but if you don't let that stop you it's really nice. I personally didn't witness any wildlife. But that's not to say there wasn't anything out there. Best advice get up early and get there. It gets crowded if you wait. If you get there early you will likely have the waterfall at the end all to yourself till other people come.
I love getting out here and living a good outdoor life. The air is great, you can find places where no one else is and be alone in the quiet. Gorgeous views no matter which part of the state you're in.