Located in western Colorado, the Grand Mesa National Forest covers most of Grand Mesa and part of Battlement Mesa. It was the third forest reserve created in the United States and is the largest flat-top mountain in the world. Throughout the summer months, visitors come here to escape the heat from the valley below. They can enjoy hiking, mountain biking over the varied terrain, and fishing at one of the 300 alpine lakes.
Camping in Grand Mesa National Forest
With over 3,000 miles of trails, the Grand Mesa National Forest provides both rugged beauty and solitude. With an RV conveniently provided by RVshare, you can get a restful night’s sleep on the mesa and wake up to enjoy the sunrise over a crystal clear alpine lake.
Big Creek Campground
The Big Creek Campground is located near Collbran, CO. It has a boat ramp, picnic tables, and toilets. Most of the campsites are shaded and there is hiking and fishing nearby. However, there are no water or electric hook-ups. The rates are $14 per night per camping unit. Firewood bundles are available for $6 each. The campground is open from mid-June until late September.
Weir and Johnson Campground
The Weir and Johnson Campground consists of 12 campsites located at an elevation of 10,500 feet. It is a single loop between Weir and Johnson and Sackett Reservoirs, with many of the sites overlooking one of the reservoirs. This is a peaceful location surrounded by Engelmann spruce. There are no electric or water hook-ups. There is one vault toilet. Rates are $14 per night per campsite. Firewood is available for $6 per bundle. The campground is open from mid-June through late September.
Grand Mesa RV Park and General Store
With 20 RV sites and many amenities, Grand Mesa RV Park and General Store will make sure you’re cared for. In addition to water and electric hook-ups, there are restrooms and showers on site. You can also buy groceries as well as bulk water and propane. If you are craving a treat, the general store has milkshakes, pizza, and wings for sale. Daily rates are $44 per RV. Weekly rates are $264. Monthly rates are $475.
Activities in Grand Mesa National Forest
The Grand Mesa National Forest encompasses a wide variety of landscapes and elevations, which lends it to a diversity of plants. Visitors can explore everything from canyons where scrub-oak and pinyon trees hold sway to plateaus filled with ponderosa pines and aspens and lush alpine meadows. The park is particularly popular in mid-summer during peak wildflower season. Visitors will see abundant groupings of columbine, paintbrush, fireweed, delphiniums, mountain bluebells, and many more. Many rock and mineral enthusiasts as well as amateur paleontologists enjoy exploring the various topographies of the park. Geodes and other interesting specimens can be found.
The park is also home to thriving populations of over 55,000 elk, 150,000 mule deer, and 500 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep as well as 150 desert bighorn sheep. While more elusive, Canadian lynx, pine martens, mountain lions and black bears also make their home in the park. A small moose herd of about 100 has recently been introduced to the Grand Mesa National Forest as well. Bird-watchers will enjoy keeping their eyes out for the Gunnison sage grouse, Mexican spotted owls, boreal owls, bald eagles, peregrine falcons and many other avian species.
Anglers will find many fishing opportunities on the Gunnison, Taylor, Uncompahgre and San Miguel Rivers as well as the numerous smaller creeks that run through the park. Rainbow trout, browns, cutthroats and brookies are particularly plentiful.
Stargazing is a wonderful hobby on the plateau as it is sufficiently removed from larger urban areas so that light pollution is minimal. There are a number of geocaches hidden in the area as well.
How to get to Grand Mesa National Forest
Address: 2230 South Main St., Delta, CO 81416
Fee: Entry fee $0
Grand Mesa National Forest provides a unique range of ecosystems to explore. Summer in the park is particularly delightful thanks to the explosion of wildflowers. The pristine mountain streams are great for anglers. By camping in an RV, you can enjoy stargazing at night and, then, wake up to see the sunrise over a mountain lake.
Frequently Asked Questions About Grand Mesa National Forest
What is the best time to visit Grand Mesa National Forest?
The best time of year to visit Grand Mesa National Forest is in the fall. Temperatures will still be warm enough for hiking and outdoor activities and the fall foliage is beautiful. You'll also miss the summer crowds.
Can you kayak, canoe, or raft in Grand Mesa National Forest?
Yes, you can kayak and canoe in Grand Mesa National Forest. There are also places for rafting and floating on the Colorado River in the area.
What is the closest town to Grand Mesa National Forest?
Montrose is one of the closest towns to Grand Mesa National Forest. There are places to camp, eat, and shop for groceries or other supplies in town.
How many hiking trails does Grand Mesa National Forest have?
There are over 3,500 miles of trails in the Grand Mesa National Forest. The trails can be used for hiking, horseback riding, biking, or cross-country skiing.
What type of wildlife lives in Grand Mesa National Forest?
Wildlife in the Grand Mesa National Forest includes elk, mule deer, Canadian lynx, pine martens, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep. There is also a variety of birds and other small animals in the area.