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Blue Mesa Reservoir

From Openwaterpedia

Blue Mesa Reservoir (elevation 7,519 feet (2,292 m)) is the largest body of water entirely in the state of Colorado in the western United States. Created by Blue Mesa Dam, Blue Mesa Reservoir is 20 miles (32 km) long, has 96 miles (154 km) of shoreline, and is the largest lake trout and Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States. Blue Mesa Dam was completed in 1965 and was the first large dam built along the Gunnison River.

U.S. 50 travels along the banks of the lake, and crosses it on the Lake Fork Arm and at Middle Bridge.

The reservoir is located in the Curecanti National Recreation Area, in Western Colorado, between Montrose and Gunnison. It is one of the three reservoirs formed from the Gunnison River. The other two reservoirs, also located in Curecanti National Recreation Area, are Crystal Reservoir and Morrow Point Reservoir. The area is filled with beautiful mesas, deep narrow canyons, and fjord-like lakes. Covering 41,972 acres (169.85 km2), the park brings over 960,000 visitors each year. There is no entrance fee.

Recreation activities[edit]

Popular recreation activities include boating, fishing, wind surfing, waterskiing and ice fishing in the winter. Other activities that are not water-based are hunting, ATV-riding, hiking, horseback riding, visiting the 5,000-acre (20 km2) archeological district and exploring the old narrow-gauge mining railroad of Gunnison. In the area, there are trails ranging from easy to very strenuous. Close to the park, attractions include the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area. Visitor centers are located at Blue Mesa Point, which overlooks where the lake and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison meet, Elk Creek Marina and Cimarron. There are also overlooks at Dillon Pinnacles trail and Hermit's Rest trail.

It is also site of open water swimming training by Craig Lenning.

External links[edit]