Pike National Forest

The Pike National Forest can be found in the Front Range of Colorado, USA, and westwards of the Colorado Springs and includes Pikes Peak. The forest covers 1,106,604 acres within Teller, Clear Creek, Jefferson, El Paso, and Douglas counties. The main rivers the drain the forests are the South Platte and Fountain Creek, Rampart Reservoir, a large synthetic body of water, can be found within the forest.

The forest gets its name from the American explorer Zebulon Pike.

A lot of the bedrock within the national forest consists of the coarse and pinkish-orange Pikes Peak granite.

The national forest is managed in association with the San Isabel National Forest and the Comanche National Grassland within Colorado, in addition to Cimarron National Grassland in Kansas and the headquarters are located in Pueblo, Colorado. The local ranger district offices are located in Colorado Springs, Morrison, and Fairplay.

This forest was the location of the huge 138,114-acre Hayman Wildfire in the year 2002.

The Pike and San Isabel National Forest was recently bestowed a major recovery project to repair the damage from the wildfire. The project was sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation combined with several university bookstores. Both forests were voted the winner from a group of 3 separate forests. The vote occurred at www.buildaforest.com. The school who took the place of most votes for Pike and San Isabel National Forest was the University of Central Florida; the Pike and San Isabel National Forest will be granted a name in honor of the effort by UCF students, supporters, and alumni.

Currently, there are 3 officially designated wilderness areas that lie within the boundaries of the forest that are a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Two of which extend into neighboring National Forests. These areas are Lost Creek Wilderness, Mount Evans Wilderness, and Buffalo Peaks Wilderness.

The majority of the forest experiences a Highland climate with the summers warm and the winters cold. Even during the summer, the nights are cool because of the high elevation. The temperatures and precipitation fluctuate extensively throughout the entire forest, depending on the elevation. The majority of the forest collects more than 100 inches of snow each year.

Image Caption: A picture of the Pike National Forest taken from the trail to the Devil’s Head Lookout in Colorado. Tall tree is Picea engelmannii, with Pinus flexilis right of it, and Populus tremuloides left of it. Credit: Glennfcowan/Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0)