The 1.83 million acre Rio Grande National Forest is located in southcentral Colorado and remains one of the true undiscovered jewels of Colorado. The Rio Grande river begins its 1800 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico high up in the San Juan Mountains in the western most part of the forest. The Continental Divide runs for 236 miles along most of the western border of the forest and the jagged tops of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains form the eastern border. Inbetween these two mountain ranges sits the San Luis Valley, a large agricultural alpine valley. The Rio Grande National Forest is composed of a myriad of ecosystems ranging from high elevation desert at 7600 feet above sea level to rocky crags at over 14,300 feet in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.