Alpine Triangle

Quick Facts

Alpine Triangle

Colorado

(970) 240-5300

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The Bureau of Land Management cares for 600,000 acres of public land in the upper Gunnison River basin in southwest Colorado. Collaborating with a number of public and private partners, they guide the protection, management, and sustainable use of a wide variety of resources. Ecosystems within the GRA range from dry sagebrush steppes at 7,000 ft.; to forests of aspen, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, Engleman spruce, and subalpine fir; to alpine tundra meadows that reach to over 14,000 ft. Hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoy the beauty and varied recreation opportunities and experiences on public lands in this area. There are outstanding opportunities for hiking, fishing, mountain biking, hunting, horseback riding, vehicle recreation, mountain climbing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, backpacking, and much more.

Map of Alpine Triangle

Latitude, Longitude: 37.918201, -107.512207

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Activities

  • Boating

    Lake Fork of the Gunnison River starts high in the San Juan Mountains of SW Colorado and is a popular boating destination. There is usually a short season of boatable water during spring runoff usually starting in late May and hopefully continuing to the end of June. In some years good flow levels can continue into July but this is the exception rather than the rule.

  • Bicycling

    Numerous Mountain Biking trails are available in the Gunnison and Lake City areas.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Touring is a popular activity.

  • Camping

    Most of the campgrounds are operational from Memorial Day through labor Day. After Labor Day, some amenities such as water and trash service are discontinued. Contact the Gunnison Field Office at (970) 641-0471 for more information. Firewood is available in most campgrounds. All campgrounds have vault toilets, tables & fire grates. The RV dump station is located east of Taylor Park Reservoir on the road going to Tincup.

  • Climbing

    The Apine Triangle is home to many "Thirteeners" and "Fourteeners." It is important to be prepared for weather conditions and to check avalanche conditions.

  • Fishing

    There are lots of outstanding opportunities for fishing in the Gunnison Basin ranging from roadside lakes & rivers to hidden ponds and remote streams that you have to work to get to. Almost all of these opportunities are on public lands managed by the BLM, Forest Service and Park Service but there are a few places on private land where the Division of Wildlife has acquired public fishing easements. Most private land, though, is closed to public fishing unless you have the permission of the landowner. The boundary between public and private land does not have to be marked so it is your responsibility to know where you are and be sure you are not trespassing. Stop by the office to get a map or talk with one of the specialists about access into the places you want to fish. Popular fishing areas are: The Taylor River & Its Tributaries, The Tomichi & Cochetopa Drainages, The Lower Gunnison, Cebolla, Lake Fork, & North of Blue Mesa, and The Ohio Creek & East River Drainage.

  • Hiking

    The area receives some recreational use during the winter, but the vast majority occurs from June to October, when the snow is disappearing and the roads are passable. During this time, the area is a hiker's paradise with the vast majority of trails starting over 9,000 feet and some going 14,000 feet, but as with any backcountry adventure, you must be well prepared.

  • Horseback Riding

    Numerous equestrian trails are located on the Alpine Loop and Lake City Area and also in the Gunnison Area and The Powderhorn Wilderness Area.

  • Hunting

    It is important to find and get to lands that are legal to hunt. In general, all federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Forest Service, and Curecanti Recreation Area, in addition to some state lands, are open to hunting.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Check with the local field office for information on OHV roads and trails. Offices also have maps of many of the OHV routes.

    ATVs are managed under pretty much the same rules as jeeps and motorcycles. Both the BLM and the Forest Service have similar management programs for vehicle use. The lands are designated in the following categories:

    Limited - motor vehicle use is permitted but with some restrictions. For example, traffic could be limited to existing roads to prevent the indiscriminate creation of new routes. Traffic could be limited to designated roads to cut down on resource damage from unauthorized roads that have been created. In a few cases traffic could be limited to certain times of the year e.g. when it is important to protect big game animals when they are on critical winter range areas. Closed - no motor vehicle use is permitted.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic areas are available.

  • RVing

    There are many campgrounds in the Alpine Triangle that are available for RVs.

  • Winter Sports

    Popular winter sports in The Alpine Triangle are snowmobiling and cross country skiing. There are hundreds of miles of trails for each. Be prepared for weather, have a good map and check avalanche conditions.

Seasonality/Weather

The weather ranges from cool in the summer (50 F to 75 F) to below freezing in the winter. Eleveation also plays a large role on the weather in this region of the country. It is important to be well prepared for a trip and to know the current weather and road conditions.

Directions

Driving

The Silverton and Ouray entrances to the Loop can be accessed via U.S. Highway 550 south of Montrose or north of Durango. The Lake City entrances are accessed via State Highway 149 south of Gunnison or north of Creede.

Flying

The Alpine Triangle is located about 150 miles from Denver International Airport.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(970) 240-5300

Weather

(970) 349-4022

Campground reservations

(970) 641-0471

Links