Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest lake in the state of Colorado. It’s 20 miles long and features 96 miles of shoreline to explore. Blue Mesa is an outdoor recreation paradise. Activities include sailing, boating, fishing, windsurfing and water skiing.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
The Elk Creek complex is the major facility of Blue Mesa Reservoir. It features the main marina, Pappy's Restaurant, a visitors center and campground. The marina offers in and out boat launching, a store, fish tackle, gasoline, boat rentals, kayaks, canoes, SUP's and boat slips. The marina and the restaurant are only open in the summer, while the NPS visitors center and campground are open year-round.
Elk Creek Marina
Blue Mesa Reservoir was created by the construction of Blue Mesa Dam, a 390-foot tall earthen fill dam constructed on the Gunnison by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1966 for the generation of hydroelectric power. Construction was started in 1962 and finished four years later, the dam created Blue Mesa Reservoir, which became the primary water storage reservoir for the Curecanti Unit.
Blue Mesa Dam
The Soap Creek scenic area is located on the upper end of Blue Mesa Reservoir at the end of the northern leg of the leg. This is a beautiful area of stone pinnacles and ponderosa pines. Access is easy with a road just beyond the dam.
Take a boat ride into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Join a park ranger for a leisurely 1½ hour boat tour on the Morrow Point Reservoir. You will travel into the famous Black Canyon of the Gunnison, learning about geology, wildlife, early inhabitants, the narrow-gauge railroad, dams, or reservoirs. Be sure to bring your camera!
Morrow Point Boat Tours
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is in western Colorado near BMRR. It surrounds part of a deep, steep-walled gorge carved through Precambrian rock by the Gunnison River. Roads and trails along the north and south rims have views of the Black Canyon's dramatic drops and the striated Painted Wall cliff. The winding East Portal Road descends to the river. Wildlife includes mule deer, elk and golden eagles.
Black Canyon National Park
Colorado’s growing wine industry offers settings and wine-tasting like no other wine region in the world. Colorado's unparalleled natural beauty is luring up-and-coming wineries, and for those looking for the next big thing in wine, that’s perfect pairing.To sample Colorado's growing wine industry visit the North Fork Valley and tour the many wineries and vineyards around the area. This includes the Paonia, Hotchkiss and Cedaredge areas.
North Fork Wine Tours
A great summertime destination close to BMRR is Rainbow Lake. The road climbs from the shores of Blue Mesa Reservoir into the high montane forests, passing through sagebrush and montane shrub habitats along the way. Along with fishing there is hiking, with access into the West Elk Wilderness Area.
Gunnison's Pioneer Museum is an impressive collection of historical exhibits that give a real insight into the pioneer live of the early Gunnison area. Not to missed, this is a great museum and facility.
The Observatory is a public owned community facility, operated by all volunteer staff and board of directors. Gunnison Valley Observatory offers access to professional quality star gazing and knowledge of astronomy. Our 30-inch reflector telescope maximizes our thin and unpolluted Rocky Mountain atmosphere to bring distant astronomical vistas to the eyes of residents and visitors of the Gunnison Valley.
Hartman Rocks Recreation Area includes over 8,000 acres of public land jointly managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the city of Gunnison, and Gunnison County. Located just on the outskirts of the city, Hartman Rocks is one of Gunnison’s greatest gems. It’s a paradise of mountain biking, hiking, motorcycling, rock climbing, horseback riding, trail running, and Nordic skiing. With miles of trails and roads maintained by the BLM and local Gunnison recreation groups, Hartman’s is one of western Colorado’s best kept secrets.
The grounds of this fish hatchery are essentially a large riverside park full of mature cottonwood trees, riparian brush and water. Covering 840 acres, the area gives you plenty of places to hike and explore. At some times, fish hatchery personnel may be able to arrange a guided tour of the facility, which releases two million Kokanee salmon each year.
Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery
Crested Butte is located in the north end of Gunnison Valley. Crested Butte is the center of both summer and winter recreation. The West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway takes in wilderness areas like Kebler Pass, to the west, known for colorful Quaking aspen trees in fall. Shops and restaurants in wooden buildings line downtown’s Elk Avenue.
Just a short distance from Crested Butte, is the trail to Judd Falls. It is a popular hike for visitors with an easy trail and short distance. It offers great views of Gothic Mountain along with wildflowers and a waterfall destination. There is also free bus service to the trailhead in summer months!
Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory provides logistical support for scientists and students, including access to living quarters, research laboratories, and protected research sites. RMBL focuses on the importance of preserving and providing access to historical data about the local ecosystems. As scientists address ever more sophisticated questions about a dynamic world, RMBL is a vital resource for discovering nature’s fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes.
Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory
Lake Irwin is set high in the Colorado Rockies at an elevation of 10,200 feet. Fishing, hiking and camping are popular activities. Summer days are cool and afternoon showers are common. Nights can be chilly. The high alpine landscape has spectacular mountain views.
Kebler Pass tops at 10,007 feet, traveling through the Gunnison National Forest. It’s home to one of the largest aspen groves in the United States, situated in the West Elk Mountains. This is one of Colorado’s Scenic Drives - The Kebler Pass Scenic Drive.
Spring Creek Reservoir is west of Taylor Park Reservoir surrounded my forests and mountain peaks. The lake supports fishing for rainbow and brown trout. This is a high lake at 9,915 feet.
Spring Creek Reservoir
Taylor Park, Colorado an incredible mountain playground managed by the US Forest Service for all types of recreational activities. Located on the west side of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, Taylor Canyon is home to the Taylor Reservoir and Taylor River.
Tincup, or Tin Cup, originally called Virginia City, is a high mountain town close to Taylor Reservoir. The community was once a prominent mining town. Tincup is now a community of summer homes with a few year-round residents. Many historic buildings are still in use.
Cumberland Pass is one of Colorado's most scenic and historic passes. The trail is very easy and can be driven in a passenger car without any problems but is open to ATV's, dirt bikes, and Jeeps. The trail passes lots of mining history and drops into Tincup.
Located an easy distance from Gunnison the Alpine Tunnel is a historic narrow gauge tunnel. Once the highest railroad tunnel in the world, at an altitude of 11,523 feet, it was the first tunnel to be built through the Continental Divide. The Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad began the work of November, 1879 and the first train went through in July of 1882. Even by today’s standards this was an engineering marvel.