Flat Tops Wilderness Area in Colorado

Steamboat Springs Colorado
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Flat Tops Wilderness

The Flat Tops Wilderness area is located in the White River and Routt National Forests in Colorado. It covers over 235,000 acres of land, and is situated on the White River Plateau.

  • Flat Tops Wilderness it the second largest wilderness in Colorado.
  • There are 110 lakes full of fish within the area.
  • Flat Tops Wilderness offers some of the most extensive areas above timberline in the state.


Flat Tops Wilderness is a popular travel destination for outdoorsman and nature enthusiasts alike.


Flat Tops Wilderness is located in both Routt and White River National Forest in the northeastern region of the state near the towns of Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs.

USDA Forest Service
White River National Forest
900 Grand Ave.
P.O. Box 948
Glenwood Springs, CO 81602


While Flat Tops Wilderness is open year round, certain activities are only available seasonally.


Because Flat Tops Wilderness offers over 300 miles of trail, hiking is a very popular year-round activity in the area. The Skinny Fish and McGinnis Lake trail, 6.2 miles roundtrip, offers supreme views of both lakes and natural scenery. This 4-hour hike is generally well marked and best hiked midsummer through mid-fall as snow covers much of the higher elevation of the trail through mid-June.

Fishing is also available throughout the Flat Tops Wilderness, even at Skinny Fish and McGinnis lakes. However, a fishing license is required through the Colorado Department of Wildlife.

Hunting is also a popular activity in the area as large herds of elk and deer are prevalent within Flat Tops Wilderness. A license to hunt is also required through the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Additional Info

Due to a large amount of snow in the area, snowshoes are recommended through June. Mosquitoes are also prevalent from July through early August.