This guide showcases the best day hikes in one of Colorado’s best day hiking areas, the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado around the towns of Ouray, Telluride, Silverton and Lake City. The San Juan Mountains encompass more than 10,000 square-miles of some of the most spectacular peaks, ridges and glacial valleys in the state. Sixteen peaks tower above 14,000-ft. and literally hundreds of summits top 13,000-ft. Three national forests and seven wilderness areas protect huge swathes of this amazing landscape.
The Sawatch and Elk Mountain ranges around Aspen, Leadville, Buena Vista, Crested Butte and Marble, offer the quintessential Rocky Mountain hiking experience with glacial valleys leading to vast alpine expanses sprinkled with glistening lakes amid soaring peaks. Three national forests and six wilderness areas protect this amazing landscape. Over 200 peaks rise above 13,000-ft. with 20 of the summits topping 14,000-ft.
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