Exceptional wildlife and unmatched views
The San Juan Headwaters, which is comprised of the San Juan River and Navajo River, is emblematic of Colorado’s richness and diversity. They provide important buffers to federal forests and wilderness areas and contain a number of large ranching operations. The area is especially important for wildlife as corridors to travel between summer and winter ranges. The upper reaches of the San Juan originate in wilderness areas —the state’s last grizzly bear was seen here—high on the Continental Divide, from three main tributary creeks: Wolf Creek at Wolf Creek Pass, and the East and West Forks of the San Juan River. These tributary creeks descend steeply from the Divide through lush glaciated valleys and sub-alpine and montane forests, joining together on a broad and picturesque glacial valley floor to form the San Juan River. Colorado Open Lands stewards thousands of acres of protected lands in this incredible landscape.