Arapaho National Forest

Arapaho National Forest is a National Forest found in north-central Colorado, United States. The facility is managed jointly with the Roosevelt National Forest and the Pawnee National Grassland from the United States Forest Service office located in Fort Collins, Colorado. The combined facility of 1,730,603 acres is represented as ARP (Arapaho, Roosevelt, Pawnee) by the Forest Service. Separately, the Arapaho National Forest is made up of 723,744 acres.

The forest is located within the Rocky Mountains, straddling the continental divide in the Front Range west of Denver. It was established on July 1st of 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt and named for the Arapaho tribe of Native Americans which previously inhabited the Colorado Eastern Plains. It includes part of the high Rockies and river valleys in the upper watershed of the Colorado River and South Platte River. The forest is largely in Grand and Clear Creek counties, but extends over into neighboring Gilpin, Routt, Park, Jackson, and Jefferson counties. There are local ranger district offices in Granby and Idaho Springs.

There are six areas that are officially designated wilderness areas within Arapaho National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Four of these are partially in neighboring National Forests, and one of these is also on National Park Service land. These areas are Byers Peak Wilderness, James Peak Wilderness, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Mount Evans Wilderness, Vasquez Peak Wilderness, and Never Summer Wilderness.

Image Caption: Yellow and orange aspens color the hillside near Crooked Creek Road on the Sulphur Ranger District, Arapaho National Forest. Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wikipedia  (CC BY 2.0)