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Raggeds Wilderness Area

Government information and links are at the bottom of this page.

Located in White River and Gunnison National Forests

Neighboring towns: Marble, Crested Butte, Aspen

No more descriptive name exists in Colorado than the Ragged Mountains. Prominent from Highway 133 over McClure Pass, the polished rock flanks of the Raggeds soar to a jagged, knife-edged ridge. Complementing these inaccessible peaks, the Dark Canyon of Anthracite Creek roars below, carving a deep and mysterious gorge through surrounding benchlands of aspen and spruce. Colorful peaks and prominent intrusive dikes of the Ruby Range angle north through the area's eastern end, perpendicular to the Raggeds. Capping the diversity of landforms in this area, the Oh-Be-Joyful Valley, one of Colorado's loveliest glacial valleys, sweeps out from the range toward Crested Butte and the Slate River.

The aspen forests north of Kebler Pass form one of the Raggeds' most memorable scenes. In fall, aspen groves on the benches above Anthracite Creek create a patchwork quilt of gold and green as aspen trees change color en masse, until only the last stragglers cling to the green of summer.

Spearheaded by the town of Crested Butte, which depends on the valley's watershed, an outpouring of citizen support to protect Oh-Be-Joyful led Congress to add it to the Raggeds Wilderness in 1993. Few areas have overcome such overwhelming odds to be designated wilderness as did the Oh-Be-Joyful Valley.

About 50 miles of traillead into the area. The hiking rates as relatively strenuous, and large portions off the trail are seldom explored. You'll have to ford the Slate River to access the seven miles of the Oh-Be-Joyful Pass Trail, a difficult task during spring runoff.

Size: 64,992 acres

Elevation:7,000 to 13,462 feet

Miles of trails: 49

Year designated: 1980, 1993

Hunting areas: 43, 521

For more information contact:

Gunnison & Uncompahgre National Forests, 2250 Highway 50, Delta, CO 81416  (970)874-6600 Forest Headquarters
This e-mail will be distributed to the correct Ranger District.
Grand Valley Ranger District, PO Box 330, 218 High Street, Collbran, CO 81624  (970)487-3534
Gunnison Ranger District, 216 N. Colorado, Gunnison, CO 81230  (970)641-0471
Ouray Ranger District, 2505 S. Townsend, Montrose, CO 81401  (970)240-5400
Paonia Ranger District, PO box 1030, North Rio Grande Ave., Paonia, CO 81428  (970)527-4131
Gunnison Ranger District, PO Box 89, Lake City, CO 81235  (970)641-0471 or (970)944-2500
Grand Valley Ranger District, 2777 Crossroads Blvd., Grand Junction, CO 81506  (970)242-8211
Norwood Ranger District, PO Box 388, 1760 Grand Ave., Norwood, CO 81423  (970)327-42261

For more information contact:

White River National Forest, 900 Grand Ave., PO Box 948, Glenwood Spgs, CO 81602  (970)945-2521  Fax:(970)945-3266  Supervisor's Office
Aspen District, 806 West Halam, Aspen, CO 81611  (970)925-3445  Fax:(970)925-5277  Aspen District
Blanco District, 317 East Market St., Meeker, CO 81641  (970)878-4039  Fax:(970)878-5173  Blanco District
Dillon District, 680 River Parkway, PO Box 620, Silverthorne, CO 80498  (970)468-5400  Fax:(970)468-7735  Dillon District
Eagle District, 125 West Fifth St., PO box 720, Eagle, CO 81631  (970)328-6388  Fax:(970)328-6448  Eagle District
Holy Cross District, 24747 US Hwy 24, PO Box 190, Minturn, CO 81645  (970)827-5715  Fax:(970)827-9343  Holy Cross District
Rifle District, 0094 County Rd 244, Rifle, CO 81650  (970)625-2371  Fax:(970)625-2532  Rifle District
Sopris District, 620 Main St., PO Box 309, Carbondale, CO 81623  (970)963-2266  Fax:(970)963-1012  Sopris District

Wilderness sunset

NOTE: coloradowilderness.com gratefully appreciates the eloquent descriptions of our wilderness areas provided by Mark Pearson, author of "The Complete Guide to Colorado's Wilderness Areas", Westcliffe Publishers, Englewood, CO. The book also contains many beautiful pictures by renowned photographer and Colorado resident John Fielder.


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