Located a short distance west of Fort Collins, Colorado, Roosevelt National Forest is on the north and east sides of Rocky Mountain National Park. This 815,000-acre area, originally part of the Medicine Bow Forest Reserve, was renamed Roosevelt National Forest in 1932 as a tribute to President Theodore Roosevelt. There are 183 named mountains in this forest, including North Arapahoe Peak and South Bald Mountain. The Peak-to-Peak Highway, which is the northernmost highway to cross the Continental Divide, runs through this park before continuing to Fort Collins.
The Emmaline Lake Trail starts by skirting the edge of Colorado State University Mountain Campus before heading to the Cirque Meadow. While many choose to turn around at this point, the trail continues to Emmaline and Cirque lakes. Adjoining trails allow you to reach Rocky Mountain National Park by following this trail.
Length: 13 miles
The West Branch Trail starts near the Tunnel Campground, and it soon crosses a bridge into the Rawah Wilderness. Keep following the trail running along the Laramie River through the wilderness, and you will arrive at an open meadow. It ends after a steep climb at Island and Carey lakes.
Length: 12.9 miles
This trail starts off Long Draw Road, where it meanders through a boulder field. Then, it follows the willow-lined Trap Creek until it almost enters the Neota Wilderness. Enjoy stunning views of Flat Top Mountain and Trap Park Lake from this trail. This is an out-and-back trail that provides a nice workout for those who complete it.
Length: 9.5 miles
The South Boulder Park Trail starts at the Moffat Tunnel off Colorado Highway 119 near Rollinsville. This is a great trail to hike in the summer when the wildflowers are in bloom. Take the route to the right and cross the Willow Lake log bridge. Then, climb the steep hill to reach Lower and Upper Forest lakes.
Length: 17.2 miles
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail starts at the Crazy Cook Monument near Hachita, New Mexico. It crosses through Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana before ending at the Canadian border. This trail runs mainly along the Continental Divide, and you should expect high-mountain hiking conditions on some sections.
Length: 3,028 miles
You will need to hike to access the many great fishing spots in Roosevelt National Forest. The area of this forest lying in Larimer County is a particularly popular place to fish. Sheep Creek often yields great trout, but be careful to catch and release all greenback cutthroat ones as they are federally protected. Columbine Creek is another outstanding option, especially for catching trout while fly-fishing. Nokomis Lake can also be a fantastic place to go fishing for brown and rainbow trout.
There are no geocaches at Roosevelt National Forest, but you may want to consider creating one. However, be sure to check with the forest headquarters about local regulations before placing any caches in the area.
Roosevelt National Forest is a great place to go wildlife viewing. The forest is home to mule deer, elk, black bears, fox, mountain lions, bobcats, moose, squirrels, and rabbits. During the winter, head to Larimer County to see bald eagles. Open conifer forests near Bellvue are often a great place to see bighorn sheep.
While many choose to go stargazing in the open meadows at Roosevelt National Forest, most decide to head nearby to Pawnee National Grasslands. Consider climbing the flat-top buttes at sunset and waiting until dark to see the stars from this location.
Address: Colorado 14 West, Bellvue, CO 80512
Fee: Entry fee $0
Roosevelt National Forest is a great place to explore. You can go hiking, fishing, stargazing, and nature watching at this location. The elevation changes drastically within this national forest, so be sure to prepare for quick weather changes. A fantastic way to explore this area is in an RV, so bring yours on your trip. If you do not have an RV, then rent one from RVshare, and hit the open road.