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Arapaho-Roosevelt Nat'l Forest and Pawnee Nat'l Grassland

From majestic mountains to vast expanses of grasslands, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and the Pawnee National Grassland (ARP) in northern Colorado offer an array of exceptional experiences.

Known collectively as ARP, these public lands flank the Rocky Mountains and its foothills on both sides of the Continental Divide. Topography varies from rolling hills to snow-covered peaks more than 14,000 feet high.

Year-round recreational opportunities are abundant. Activities include, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, skiing, and other winter sports.

The ARP ranks as the most-visited National Forest and Grassland for recreation in the nation, drawing over six million recreationists every year.

The ARP has a plethora of hiking and riding trails. Trails range from easy to difficult, from popular to isolated, and everything in between. There are also many opportunities to explore the great outdoors on a mountain bike or off-highway vehicle.

There are two National Recreation Areas to enjoy in these Forests. The Arapaho National Recreation Area is a 36,000 acre scenic water wonderland in the upper reaches of the Colorado River Valley. The Brainard Lake Recreation Area offers spectacular scenery and a wide variety of year-round outdoor recreation opportunities.

The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests offer a number of Scenic Drives, including the Mount Evans Scenic Drive. Enjoy the majestic views as you travel along the highest paved highway in North America, climbing more than 7,000 feet in jsut 28 miles.

Congressionally-designated Wilderness Areas consist of some of the most natural and undisturbed places in America. These Forests include ten Wilderness Areas: Byers Peak, Cache la Poudre, Comanche Peak, Indian Peaks, James Peak, Mount Evans, Neota, Rawah, Never Summer, and Vasquez Peak.

The Arapaho National Forest was established in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt and named for one of the Native American tribes that had occupied the region for summer hunting.

First-timer’s Adventure

Hike the Trap Park Trail #866, which is a 5.8-mile roundtrip hike with 600 feet of elevation gain. The trail follows an old road up to Trap Park, which is a beautiful valley bound on the southwest by Iron Mountain and on the south by Flattop Mountain.

Statistics

State(s):

Colorado

Nearest Large Urban Area:

Denver

Notes & Conditions:

There is a wonderful Visitors Guide in PDF format of all of the activities and attractions of the ARP.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Maps:

Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.