- The Grand Mesa National Forest encompasses the Grand Mesa, which is one of the world's largest flattop mountains and has an average elevation of 10,000 feet. It is dotted with over 300 alpine lakes and reservoirs. There are campgrounds and picnic grounds normally open from early July 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 Land End Road offering breathtaking views.
There are many cross-country skiing and snowmobiling opportunities on the Grand Mesa. Winter access is on Highway 65, which is maintained year-round. Powderhorn Ski Area, located on the northern slopes of the Grand Mesa provides downhill skiing and snowboarding opportunities.
Recreation - Popular recreation activities on the Grand Mesa include downhill and cross-country skiing, developed and dispersed camping, four-wheel driving, sightseeing, hunting, fishing, hiking, boating, snowmobiling, picnicking, mountain biking, horseback riding and backpacking.
Climate - The Grand Mesa has an average elevation of 10,000 feet. Summer high temperatures can reach into the 70s and low 80s. 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.
The Grand Mesa National Forest is located to the east of Grand Junction, in west-central Colorado. It encompasses much of the actual Grand Mesa, which sits between the towns of Collbran (north) and Cedaredge (south). The forest is immediately east of and a mile above the convergence of the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers and Grand Junction.