RV Rental San Juan National Forest, CO

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One of southwestern Colorado’s most visited attractions, San Juan National Forest, was designated in 1905. The forest encompasses 1,878,846 acres. The forest’s rugged terrain features rivers, valleys, ponds, hot springs, canyons, lakes, mountain peaks, and desert mesas. San Juan National Forest is divided into three wilderness areas and lies in 10 counties. Durango, Bayfield, and Dolores are the nearest major towns. The highlights of San Juan National Forest include Chimney Rock National Monument. Spanning 4,726-acre in the southern part of the forest, Chimney Rock Monument features artifacts and remnants of Chacoan archeological site ruins. A section of historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad bisects the park.

San Juan National Forest is an outdoor destination of choice for both locals and tourists from all over the United States. It is a popular spot for RVers looking recreational activities, including hunting, hiking horseback riding, mountain biking, scenic drives, and fishing. Top things to do in San Juan National Forest in winter include snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and skiing. Rent an RV Durango for the best experience in San Juan National Forest.

Discover San Juan National Forest

Getting Outdoors

There are many splendid activities to engage in at San Juan National Forest. Hiking is a popular summer activity here. With nearly two million acres, this a place where hikers with different abilities and interests can find an ideal trail. Ice Lakes Trail is considered one of the most scenic trails in San Juan National Forest. Along the way, visitors can see waterfalls, alpine lakes, and wildflowers. Other popular trails include West Fork Trail.

If you would love to explore Chimney Rock, consider renting a motorhome in Durango between mid-May to September. During this period, visitors can tour the ruins of Chacoan ancient homes. During the guided tours, visitors can see Puebloan historical artifacts such as the great kiva and the Great House (Pueblo).

Should you be an avid hunter, San Juan National Forest has plenty of game species. Bighorn sheep, moose, and deer are some of the animals that can be hunted here, along with birds such as wild turkey and doves.

Camping at San Juan National Forest

There are nearly 40 campgrounds spread through the San Juan National Forest, so finding a spot to park your travel trailer rental is easy.

Located on the banks of Havilland Lake, Havilland Lake Campground has 42 sites divided into three loops. Only 17 campsites offer electric hookups. Amenities include water spigots, toilets, and picnic tables. Vallecito Campground is another place you can park your RV rental. With 79 sites, this is one of the largest campgrounds in San Juan National Forest. It is located near Vallecito Creek and is divided into four loops. Only 15 sites offer electric hookups.

Cayton Campground has 26 sites spread in two loops, with 19 sites offering full hookups. The campground is located along the banks of Dolores River. Amenities offered include a dump station and toilets. With 33 sites, Junction Creek Campground is also popular with RV campers; 14 sites offer full hookups.

Exploring the Area

There are myriad attractions and activities to see and do when you rent an RV in Durango. Whether you are passionate about museums, amusement parks, golf courses, or just a place to relax, you can find it all within a short driving distance.

Of course, one of the favorite things to do after getting your Durango motorhome rental is taking a stroll through the Historic Downtown Durango. Dotted with art galleries, museums, boutiques, antique shops, and historic buildings, this unique section of Durango has activities for visitors of all ages. While here, don’t miss the scenic train trip from Durango to Silverton along the Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad.

For a better experience and great views of the cliffs, Animas River Canyon, and mountains, consider booking the Silver Vista Car with open sides and a glass roof. If you prefer an animal museum, drive your RV rental to Durango Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum. In the hatchery section, visitors can watch and feed large trouts. The taxidermy exhibit has a great display of native animals. Some of the mounted animals include mountain lions, bears and chipmunks.

Wish to learn more about the history of Durango town? Animas Museum is the place to be. Located in a former Animas City School, this museum prides itself on preserving the history of Durango, La Plata County, and Colorado at large. Artifacts such as baskets, beads, and pots are available. There is also a nice World War I exhibit on display. Don’t leave without seeing the historic pioneer log cabin believed to be one of the oldest standing buildings in this area.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

  • Hiking TrailLocation
  • Highland Mary Lake Trail, COSan Juan National Forest, CO
  • Highland Mary Trail Loop, COSan Juan National Forest, CO
  • Stony Pass, COSilverton, CO
  • Molas Lake To Amimas River, COSilverton, CO
  • Silver Lake Trail, COSilverton, CO
  • Ute Creek Trail to Twin Lakes, COSan Juan National Forest, CO
  • Colorado Trail Segment 25, COSilverton, CO
  • Maggie Gulch Trail, COSilverton, CO
  • Kendall Peak Road, COSilverton, CO
  • Silverton to Animas Forks Ghost Town, COSilverton, CO

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