This Summer, Look Beyond National Parks and Explore Colorado National Forests Instead

This Summer, Look Beyond National Parks and Explore Colorado National Forests Instead

With summer finally here, now’s the time to embrace the great outdoors. Lucky for everyone, Colorado is home to 11 national forests and two national grasslands, together totaling an impressive 14.5 million acres. At the following eight standouts, you’ll have plenty of room to explore—whether by car, bike, or on foot—as these forests are relatively undiscovered, compared to America’s national parks.

1. Trek the Most Rugged Rockies in San Juan National Forest

Southwestern Colorado is beloved by locals for its Old West feel, complete with remnants of the state’s mining past and its enduring love for outdoor adventure. Drive scenic byways, or ride a 140-year-old steam powered locomotive through San Juan National Forest‘s wildflower pastures and past majestic peaks before hitting the trail for a multi-day backpacking trip in the famed Needle Mountains near the town of Silverton, where you’ll find craggy peaks, high alpine lakes, and few fellow hikers.

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