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Lake Information for Blue Mesa Reservoir


Blue Mesa Reservoir (elevation 7,519 ft (2,292 m)) is Colorado's largest body of water. Created by Blue Mesa Dam, Blue Mesa Reservoir is 36 mi (58 km) long, has 96 mi (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, becoming 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.

Blue Mesa Reservoir, located in the Curecanti National Recreation Area, is Colorado's largest body of water. The reservoir is located in Western Colorado between Montrose and Gunnison at an elevation of 7,519'. Formed by damming the Gunnison River, Blue Mesa Lake is one of the three reservoirs formed from the Gunnison River. Also located in Curecanti National Recreation Area, the other two reservoirs 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. One of the best deals in the state: there is no entrance fee.

Facilities and Parks: 

Along the Morrow Point Reservoir, boat tours are offered. The tour travels through the upper Black Canyon of the Gunnison on a 42-passenger pontoon boat. The tour runs 1.5 hours (reservations are required). Popular recreation activities include wind surfing, waterskiing, and in the winter excellent ice fishing. Other activities that are not water based are visiting the 5,000-acre (20 km2) archeological district and exploring the old Narrow Gauge Railroad of Gunnison. Rangers in the area will give you the history of this old mining railroad. Hiking is another popular pastime. In the area, there are trails ranging from easy to very strenuous. Close to the park, you can also visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison or the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area. Visitor centers are located at Elk Creek Marina and Cimarron. There are also overlooks at Dillon Pinnacles trail and Hermit's Rest trail.

Brook Trout
Brown Trout
Cutthroat Trout
Optional Information
Surface area: 
Blue Mesa Reservoir
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Businesses Located Nearby

Bait & Tackle

    Berfield's Stage Stop
  • 519 W Tomichi Ave - Gunnison, CO
  • (970) 641-5782
    Gene Taylors Sporting Goods
  • 201 W Tomichi Ave - Gunnison, CO
  • (970) 641-1845

Boat Rental

    Valley Marine Incorporated
  • 1366 Highway 50 - Delta, CO
  • (970) 874-4066
    Water Wolf
  • 169 Polecat Ln - Telluride, CO
  • (970) 728-3897

Vacation Rental

Bar and Restaurant

    Boardwalk Restaurant & Bar
  • 64 Highway 92 - Crawford, CO
  • (970) 921-3777

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