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Colorado > Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests > Grand Junction Ranger District
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Grand Junction Ranger District

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General Information

Description - The Grand Mesa, which is one of the world's largest flattop mountains, is dotted with alpine lakes and reservoirs. There are several campgrounds and picnic grounds located on the mesa, that normally open from early July, after the snow melts, to late September. The Crag Crest National Recreation Trail and the Crag Crest National Recreation Ski Trail provide scenic views from elevations of more than 11,000 feet. The Grand Mesa Scenic Byway runs from Cedaredge to Plateau Valley, with the Land End Road offering breathtaking views. There are many cross-country skiing and snowmobiling opportunities on the Grand Mesa. Winter access is from Highway 65, which is maintained year-round.

The Uncompahgre Plateau, located in the southern portion of the Ranger District, rises to 10,000 feet. Water draining from the top of the plateau has cut gorges and canyons along the sides of the plateau. The Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic Byway follows the Unaweep Canyon and Dolores River Canyon on the north and west sides of the plateau.

Recreation - Popular recreation activities on the Grand Junction District include , hunting, fishing, hiking, developed and dispersed camping, four-wheel driving, sightseeing, boating, picnicking, mountain biking, horseback riding, backpacking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

Climate - Summer high temperatures in the National Forest areas reach into the 70s and 80s, with warmer and drier weather in the lower elevations. Evenings are cool, with temperatures that can often dip into the 30s. Afternoon summer thunderstorms are common. Snow is possible at any time of year in the highest elevations. The high elevation roads and trails are often not clear of snow until at least mid-July. The relative humidity is quite low throughout the year.

Winter lows can dip well below zero, though daytime temperatures are normally in the 20s to 30s. Much of the precipitation comes in the winter, when heavy snow can be expected in most forest areas.

Location - The Grand Junction Ranger District encompasses the southern half of the Grand Mesa and the northern end of the Uncompahgre Plateau. It is located to the south and east of Grand Junction, around Delta and Cedaredge. The Grand Mesa Visitor Center is located at Cobbett Lake, along the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway. The Visitor Center is open during the summer months.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Grand Junction Ranger District, 2777 Cross Road Blvd , Grand Junction, CO, 81506, Phone: 970-242-8211

Grand Mesa National Forest, Grand Mesa Visitor Center , , , , Phone: 970-856-4153

Additional Information:
Delta Area - Delta is located at the junction of Highways 50 and 92. The Gunnison River runs through town leading east toward Gunnison and northwest toward Grand Junction.
Grand Junction Area - Grand Junction lies in the fertile Grand Valley where the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers intersect. The region has a long history of ranching, farming and mining.
Grand Mesa National Forest - The Grand Mesa National Forest lies to the east of Grand Junction, around the towns of Collbran and Cedaredge. The Gunnison, Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forests are administratively combined.
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests - The Gunnison, Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forests of west-central and southwestern Colorado are administratively combined. Some of the primary towns surrounded by the forests include Gunnison, Crested Butte, Montrose, Delta, Cedaredge, Hotchkiss, Paonia, Grand Junction, Ouray and Telluride.


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