Colorado is home to about 22 million acres of forest and ranks 8th in the US with the most forest acres. Almost half of those acres are part of Colorado's National Forests. 

The state's largest National Forest is the White River National Forest at over 2.2 million acres. This forest is so big it is home to 12 different ski resorts and touches 9 different counties in the state.

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What Makes It a National Forest?

National Forests are a designation given to Federal lands managed by the US Forest Service under the Department of Agriculture. These lands include forests, mountains, and grasslands that have been set aside for more than 100 years. America is home to 154 National Forests, 11 of which are here in Colorado.

Colorado's 11 National Forests

All of Colorado's National Forests were created before 1910. Colorado's first National Forest was The Battlement Mesa Forest Reserve. This forest was established by President Benjamin Harrison on Christmas Eve, 1892. It was the third forest reserve ever created in the United States. Today this forest is known as the Grand Mesa National Forest. 

Day hikes and backpacking in Colorado's National Forests are a great way to relax and enjoy some of the best our state has to offer. Colorado is home to 11 of these forests.

All 11 of Colorado's Beautiful National Forests Ranked Smallest to Largest

Colorado is home to 11 national forests that total more than 10,000,000 acres. Scroll through each of them in the photo gallery below ranked smallest to largest. We will include maps for each one so you can get out and explore.

LOOK: Colorado Mountain Ranges by Name and Region

Find out more about each one of Colorado's primary mountain ranges, and learn exactly where each one is located in the state.

KEEP GOING: What is the Longest River in Colorado?

Take a closer look at the 10 longest rivers that flow through the state of Colorado. From the Rio Grande to the San Juan River, scroll on for a look at the 10 longest rivers found in the Centennial State.

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