Colorado is known for its natural splendor. The Weminuche Wilderness might be the best example of natural beauty in the entire state. As the largest wilderness area in Colorado, the Weminuche Wilderness spans nearly 500,000 acres and is 75% the size of Rhode Island.
The Weminuche Wilderness
The Weminuche Wilderness, part of the San Juan National Forest, spans 499,771 acres in Southwest Colorado. You’ll find this area about 17 miles northeast of Durango, 4 miles southeast of Silverton, and 8 miles south of West Fork. With so many acres to explore, outdoor adventurers should consider adding a trip to the Weminuche Wilderness to their Durango vacation bucket list. No matter whether you’re just exploring for a few hours or spending a few days, you’ll find endless opportunities to enjoy nature’s wonder in this expansive area.
Things To Do & See
The Weminuche Wilderness is a place of wonder. You’ll find all kinds of interesting geological features, wildlife, water, and other natural gems here. The Chicago Basin is a summertime destination for climbers and hikers. This area of the Weminuche is surrounded by a handful of fourteeners: Mount Eolus, Sunlight Peak, and Windom Peak.Colorado 14ers
The Continental Divide Trail also passes through the Weminuche. This 3,100-mile scenic trail crosses the country and connects Canada and Mexico. It passes approximately 83 miles through the wilderness here and seriously varies in elevation. You’ll find the lowest point of the Weminuche at 7,700 feet along the Animas River. The highest point, the summit of Windom Peak, reaches over 14,000 feet.
You can see the Weminuche Wilderness by climbing aboard the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The train makes stops at several of Weminuche’s trailheads. You are likely to encounter creatures including deer, elk, bighorn sheep, pikas, and marmots in the wilderness. Plants and trees include everything from montane forests with firs to alpine tundras covered in grasses.Wilderness Access
Camping in the Weminuche Wilderness
According to information from the USDA Forest Service, you don’t need a permit to camp in the Weminuche Wilderness. However, you will need to follow a few rules when camping in the Weminuche. No motorized vehicles are allowed in the wilderness. All groups must contain 15 or fewer people. You must camp at least 100 feet from any water feature.Camping
Any campfires must be 100 feet from the water, and of course it is best to practice “leave no trace” when camping in the Weminuche. Dogs are allowed in the Weminuche. Dogs and other pets must be leashed or under voice control at all times.
You can also go hunting in the Weminuche Wilderness. You will need a license to hunt deer and elk. Archery elk hunting licenses are guaranteed. Archery deer hunting licenses are issued by drawing. Muzzleloader licenses for deer and elk are also by drawing. You will also need a license to hunt game birds in the Weminuche. You can learn more about hunting permits from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.Hunting
The Weminuche Woodfire Grill's menu always has their famous burgers, pastas, smoked meats, specialty dinners and salads! However, their regular customers love to ask for the daily specials menu, which consists of creative and authentic dishes ranging from the Elvis Burger, Mushroom Swiss BBQ Brisket Sandwich, Fig Arugula Salad Pizza or Pesto Chicken & Mushroom Farfalle!View Menu
Experience natural wonder in Weminuche. This special region of the San Juan National Forest is a must-visit destination for adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts visiting Durango. Start planning your next trip now!