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Old 01-19-2013, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Eastern NC
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I am going on a backpacking trip to this area in august with friends after a visit to Denver and we are looking to contact a ranger or someone who has knowledge of this area and routes. My friend has tried several different phone numbers given to him but are outdated. Does anyone know of a good person to contact? Thanks.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:03 PM
 
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Wink Uncompahgre Wilderness

Perhaps this would help:
Wilderness.net - Uncompahgre Wilderness - General Information
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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The Uncompahgre Wilderness is managed by the Forest Service out of Lake City, if I remember correctly. Here is a link to the GMUG NF's website, with contact information for that ranger station. It's a beautiful, and remote, wilderness! Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests - Offices
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
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Thank you both, hopefully one of those numbers will work for us. Will let you know.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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The best all purpose backpacking map you can get for the area is National Geographic #141:
141 Silverton/Ouray/Telluride/LakeCityC natg (National Geographic Maps: Trails Illustrated): National Geographic Maps: 0749717011410: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:39 PM
 
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Wink Two options and more

The suggested National Geographic map looks like it could get the job done. Although in reviews not everyone seems entirely thrilled with it. I can see why in part, as in I do not, as nowhere seeing Ouray named. Maybe I can't read fine print, possibly missing the obvious, or one is just supposed to know what and where it is.

Elsewhere in the reviews on Amazon someone suggested an alternative, with Trail 40 Maps. They've at least named Ouray boldly enough.

Both maps show elevation gradients, with helpful relief shading. Yet in appearance are somewhat different. In no more than this, in what one finds most pleasing to their individual eye, there could be a preference. I suspect, aside form Ouray, that there are other dissimilarities as well. It is possible to review portions of either map online.

The USGS of course offers topographic maps in various sizes covering the entire United States. Some are basic topo maps, thus not always the most clear to the unskilled. Both the maps mentioned above are in relief, so more easily discernible.

Individual USGS maps covering Colorado can be freely accessed online, and saved, as pdf. It may take some puzzling to discern what map is wanted, but available here:

Libre Map Project : Colorado State DRG Index
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,062 posts, read 12,417,505 times
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Well since you'll be in Denver (?) and want to camp the Uncompahgre, there's a few places I love to go, Silverjack Reservoir between Ridgway and Cimarron one of them. Here's a good link:

Uncompahgre National Forest Campgrounds
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
The suggested National Geographic map looks like it could get the job done. Although in reviews not everyone seems entirely thrilled with it. I can see why in part, as in I do not, as nowhere seeing Ouray named. Maybe I can't read fine print, possibly missing the obvious, or one is just supposed to know what and where it is.

Elsewhere in the reviews on Amazon someone suggested an alternative, with Trail 40 Maps. They've at least named Ouray boldly enough.

Both maps show elevation gradients, with helpful relief shading. Yet in appearance are somewhat different. In no more than this, in what one finds most pleasing to their individual eye, there could be a preference. I suspect, aside form Ouray, that there are other dissimilarities as well. It is possible to review portions of either map online.

The USGS of course offers topographic maps in various sizes covering the entire United States. Some are basic topo maps, thus not always the most clear to the unskilled. Both the maps mentioned above are in relief, so more easily discernible.

Individual USGS maps covering Colorado can be freely accessed online, and saved, as pdf. It may take some puzzling to discern what map is wanted, but available here:

Libre Map Project : Colorado State DRG Index
The National Geographic Map is good. I also used the USGS topo map when I backpacked parts of the Wilderness. I will say that some of the trails in the wilderness are not maintained very well, so a good map and compass is essential. I had to use mine to navigate out of the wilderness when we lost the trail.

If Ouray is not on the topo, it's probably because it's not in the Wilderness. I would be surprised if it's not though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
Well since you'll be in Denver (?) and want to camp the Uncompahgre, there's a few places I love to go, Silverjack Reservoir between Ridgway and Cimarron one of them. Here's a good link:

Uncompahgre National Forest Campgrounds
I think the OP is referring to the Uncompahgre Wilderness, which is in the Uncompahgre NF, but wanting to do a backpacking trip and more primitive camping than Silverjack Reservoir offers. Of course, this might be a good starting off point, especially if driving over from Denver. It just depends on the trail the OP chooses.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:00 PM
 
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Wink Maps & approach

The town of Ouray is shown on the Nat Geo map, and recognizable as such to those familiar with it, only as far as I could tell never actually named. Some of the features, such as the Amphitheater camping, are. The greater color range of the Trail 40 Map may make it easier to use, but of course a personal preference.

If the OP is surely aware of this, the Uncompahgre Wilderness can be approached from a number of directions. As lying between Ouray and Lake City, to west and east, they the most obvious staging areas. The dirt road between, and over Engineer Pass, would allow access. Even a passenger car could drive some distance west of Lake City without problem. However once leaving US 550 shortly south of Ouray it is steeply uphill to the top of the pass in rocky conditions that would quickly tear up anything not 4x4, if not just impossible.
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