Colorado National Forest Maps
Colorado is all about the mountains. Even its baseball team is named after them. John Denver, born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr, changed his name in tribute and then went on sing of its lofty peaks. Why? The place is massive. Nowhere else in the lower 48 has such a high concentration of 14ers (peaks over 14,000 ft in elevation). It doesn’t hurt that the average elevation for the entire state is 6,800 feet, the elevation where things usually start getting interesting as far as continental snowfall and forest coverage go.
The eastern 40% or so of the state is the western edge of the Great Plains and make up the Colorado Plateau. Imagine what the early settlers thought to themselves as the approached the cordillera after crossing Kansas… An FML moment, no doubt.
The eastern 10% or so is high desert and really tends to go unrecognized. This area is home to some really great Native American historical sites and the Great Sand Dunes National Park, which will have you scratching your head as to when you arrived in the Gobi desert.
That leaves a full 50% of the state that is mainly of very high elevation, dominated by mountains, and is home to some of the country’s best ski areas. Hallowed names such as Aspen, Vail, Steamboat, and Telluride grace this area. But the areas in between have some of the best high altitude action in the country. Pack an extra set of lungs. You’ll need them.
Colorado National Forests included on this site: San Juan National Forest, San Isabel National Forest, Gunnison National Forest, Grand Mesa National Forest, Routt National Forest.