The San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado encompass some of the most striking territory in North America. With more than a hundred peaks over 13,000 feet and a few over 14,000, this remote wilderness area attracts hikers, skiers, campers, and kayakers. Several of Colorado's most famous small towns and ski resorts are in the San Juans. Abandoned mining towns, unique natural formations, and mountain lakes can also be found in the area.
There are three National Forests and seven Wilderness Areas in this large region, containing dozens of campgrounds and hundreds of hiking trails. Chicago Basin is one of the most accessible and popular destinations for camping and hiking. More remote areas of the San Juans include the skyscraping peaks of the Needle Mountains, the rushing waters of the upper Dolores River, and geological oddities like Chimney Rock.
Several Colorado state highways run through the mountains, with a few small towns offering services. Other means of transport include a historic narrow gauge railroad, which takes riders on a gorgeous trip from Silverton in the mountains down to the larger town of Durango to the south. Nearby towns include Montrose to the north, Alamosa on the east and Cortez to the west.
The San Juan Mountains cover over 12,000 square miles of terrain in southwest Colorado, beginning about 100 miles southeast of Grand Junction. Please choose a topic of interest from the left-hand column to learn more about the region.