The Grand Mesa is a lesser known Colorado gem near Grand Junction in the western part of the state. It is thought to be the largest flat topped mountain at 350,000 acres and has over 300 lakes. On top of the Mesa is the Grand Mesa National Forest, allowing recreational access to thousands of acres of public land. Here is the official Grand Mesa National Forest website - NFS
. The small historic ranching communities of Mesa, Molina and Collbran are located on the north slope and the larger historic orchard and ranching towns of Cedaredge and Eckert are located on the south slope. The highway that traverses the Mesa between the towns of Mesa and Cedaredge is Colorado Highway 65, also designated as the Grand Mesa National Scenic and Historic Byway, accessible from the north on I-70 at exit 49 east of Grand Junction via the beautiful and dramatic Plateau Creek Canyon or from the south from Colorado Highway 92 east of the city of Delta. Here is the official Byway
website. Just off the Byway and at the highest elevation on the Grand Mesa is the Crag Crest Trail. At 11,187 feet, the 10 mile hiking loop has a 360 degree panoramic view of the San Juans to the south, the Bookcliffs and Roan Plateau to the northwest. Look for beautiful wildflowers in the summer and bright aspens in the fall. With winter snows Powderhorn is the local downhill ski area but there is plenty of cross country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing to be done also. Look for moose, bears, elk, falcons, and many other kinds of wildlife. The Grand Mesa is a great place to visit year round.