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Guide to the Raggeds Wilderness


Colorado uses a wilderness system to help distinguish between its many beautiful natural areas. The Raggeds Wilderness is a section of land just south of Marble that houses some beautiful scenery. Its proximity to the Crystal Mountain Ranch makes it an ideal place to explore, especially for outdoor enthusiasts. Our travel guide to the area will help you know what the best activities are and where you can go to enjoy them.
What is the Raggeds Wilderness?

The Raggeds Wilderness encompasses 65,443 acres of land within the Gunnison and White River national forests. The land fluctuates in elevation between 7,000 to about 13,000 feet. The wilderness is known for its rocky slopes and serrated ridges. The area is home to plenty of trails, lakes and gorgeous scenery.

Before venturing into the Raggeds Wilderness, be sure to reference a map of the area. Crystal Mountain Ranch guests will likely explore the northern portion since it is closest to us.

Raggeds Wilderness Ranger Districts

Since the Raggeds Wilderness stretches across two national forests, there are two ranger stations that cover the area. Both these stations offer a great source of information for those looking to explore the area.

The first is the Paonia Ranger District, which is part of the Gunnison National Forest. This district covers the southern portion of the wilderness and is centered in Paonia, Colorado. You can reach the district at 970-527-4131. The second is the Aspen Sopris Ranger District, which is part of the White River National Forest. This focuses on the northern end of the wilderness and is centered in Carbondale. You can reach it at 970-963-2266.

Hiking in the Raggeds Wilderness

Raggeds Wilderness is home to over 90 miles of trails. The primary uses for these trails include hiking and horse traveling. The terrain, however, can be rough and weather can make these trails a challenge even during the summer months. Still, there are some great options to try. The Raspberry and Yule Creek trailheads sit along the northern edge of the wilderness. The Dark Canyon Trail is another popular option that connects to several other trails. For a full listing of trails, please refer to a wilderness map for guidance.
Raggeds Wilderness Fishing

The Raggeds Wilderness features plenty of spots to go fishing. The main fish in the area include cutthroat, rainbow, brook and brown trout. Yule Lakes on the southern end of Treasure Mountain is a great place to go for cutthroat trout. The Anthracite and Ruby Anthracite creeks are both great options for fly fishing while the Yule Creek is also a good spot for fishing. There are a host of different creeks and lakes throughout the Raggeds Wilderness that are perfect for fishing. Be sure to ask a guide for specifics on the best fishing spots. Raggeds Wilderness Outfitters in Somerset offers some fly fishing trips to help visitors to the area.
Raggeds Wilderness Scenery and Wildlife

The mountains of Raggeds Wilderness create a perfect backdrop for the area. Prominent mountains include Ragged Mountain, Ragged Peak, Chair Mountain, Marcellina Mountain, and Mount Justice. Most of these mountains are relatively close to Crystal Mountain Ranch and sit along the northern edge of the Raggeds Wilderness.

Visitors to the Raggeds Wilderness will also want to keep their eyes peeled for the various wildlife in the area. The overall landscape and formations allow for an eclectic group of animals to call the wilderness home. Some of those animals include elk, mule deer, black bears, bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, snowshoe hares, golden eagles and many other smaller animals.