Description - The Pike San Isabel National Forest is an administrative compact between the two forests southeast of the Continental Divide in Colorado.
- The highlights of the Pike San Isabel National Forests include, but are not limited to, gold-medal fishing, secluded reservoirs, 14,000' mountains, huge white water, scenic drives and historic ghost towns. The Pike San Isabel National Forests encompass a vast variety of terrain on the Front Range and in the Central Rockies.
Recreation - The recreation opportunities in the Pike San Isabel National Forests are countless. Visitors can visit ghost towns or backpack for miles on the Colorado or Continental Divide Trails. The terrain provides challenges for beginners and experts alike. Fishing, hiking, kayaking, rafting, mountain biking and four-wheel driving are only a few of the activities accessible in the mountains, valleys and canyons of the Pike San Isabel National Forests.
Climate - Controlled mainly by the Rocky Mountains, weather in the Pike San Isabel National Forests varies extremely on a yearly, daily and hourly basis. Colorado's high elevation makes the air thinner and, therefore, harder to breathe. The elevation also makes it easier to get a sunburn, because there is less air between you and the sun to filter ultraviolet light. Temperatures are affected by elevation, cooling four degrees for every 1,000 feet gained.
When hiking, particularly on high mountain peaks, during the summer morning and early afternoon hikes are best to avoid lightning and thunderstorms. The average yearly precipitation is 16 inches, the majority of which comes in spring and summer. Summer temperatures average 72 degrees during the day. Nighttime freezing temperatures are not uncommon during the summer. The mean winter temperature is 26 degrees. The low humidity on the eastern slopes makes both warm and cold temperatures seem more comfortable.
The Pike San Isabel National Forests are located south of Denver and west of Colorado Springs. The terrain extends south of Canon City. The western border follows the Continental Divide from southern Sawatch Mountains to the Lake County Line north of Leadville.