Grand Mesa Lakes
Within the Grand Mesa National Forest are 300 lakes and reservoirs, a network of shorelines and waterside retreats that keeps fishers, boaters, hikers and campers satisfied. The Grand Mesa is particularly popular with anglers seeking fish tales among the area’s seven trout species.
The mesa’s 10,000-foot altitude means cooler temps in the summer. Because it’s below timberline, there’s plenty of trees and green vistas around its lakes. Many of the 300 lakes can be reached by RVs and four-wheel-drive, but some can only be accessed by a quiet hike or horseback ride.
Tour the mesa along the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway. The full drive takes about an hour, but a the byway’s spur off CO 65 to Land’s End is worth taking on an extra half an hour. Perched at the edge of the mesa, the view into the Grand Valley can’t be beat.
Within the mesa’s borders is a choose-your-own-comfort-level span of amenities — from luxurious lodges to backcountry campsites with no amenities at all — perfect for every sort of outdoors person. Towns around the mesa, like Grand Junction, Delta, Paonia, Cedaredge and Hotchkiss, are good places to emerge for food and services.
Visit the Grand Mesa National Forest’s website for information on recreation on the mesa as well as camping, lodge and cabin rentals.