Located an hour east of Montrose, the Curecanti National Recreation Area is home to Blue Mesa, Morrow Point and Crystal Reservoirs , named after the corresponding dams on the Gunnison River. Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest body of water in Colorado, boasting 96 miles of shoreline. It is also the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the U.S. and receives a copious stocking of brown, rainbow, and mackinaw trout.
Aside from being a great place to fish, it is celebrated as a favorite place for other water sports such as waterskiing and wakeboarding, swimming and sailing.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the Morrow Point Boat Tour transports visitors through the scenic upper reaches of the reservoir, including charming Chipeta Falls and historic Curecanti Needle.
Hikers can choose from seven established hiking trails in the recreation area. The Mesa Creek Trail is a great choice for an easy/moderate hike in the canyon areas below Morrow Point Dam. This trail is located on the western edge of the recreation area, just a short drive from Montrose. While there, enjoy the Cimarron Canyon Railroad Exhibit. The Dillon Pinnacles Trail gives hikers an up-close view of the unique beauty of the volcanic rock formations on the north side of Blue Mesa Reservoir.
Camping options abound with 10 campgrounds in the recreation area, each with their own distinct setting and amenities. RV camping with electrical service is available at the Elk Creek Campground. For a more remote camping experience, try the Ponderosa Campground on Soap Creek.
That’s just a small part of the adventure and beauty you’ll find here in this beautiful national recreation area.
Location & Contact Information
The Elk Creek Visitor Center is located 40 miles east of Montrose, just off Highway 50. For more information, call the Cimarron and Morrow Point Station at 970-249-4074 or the Curecanti National Recreation office at 970-641-2337.