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|Grand Mesa National Forest|
|Location||Delta, Garfield, and Mesa counties, Colorado, United States|
|Nearest city||Grand Junction, CO|
|Area||346,555 acres (1,402.46 km2)|
|Established||December 24, 1892|
|Governing body||U.S. Forest Service|
|Website||Grand Mesa National Forest|
The Grand Mesa National Forest is a U.S. National Forest in Mesa, Delta and Garfield Counties in Western Colorado. It borders the White River National Forest to the north and the Gunnison National Forest to the east. The forest covers most of Grand Mesa and the south part of Battlement Mesa. It has a total area of 346,555 acres (541.49 sq mi, or 1,402.46 km²). It is managed by the United States Forest Service together with Gunnison National Forest and Uncompahgre National Forest from offices in Delta, Colorado. There are local ranger district offices located in Grand Junction.
Animals that inhabit this forest are elk, mule deer, Canadian lynx, black bears, pine marten, cougars, and bighorn sheep. Birdwatchers get a seasonal opportunity to view species of bird such bald eagles, boreal owls, golden eagles, Mexican spotted owls, common ravens, wild turkeys and peregrine falcons.
Originally called Battlement Mesa Forest Reserve, created by Benjamin Harrison on December 24, 1892, it was the third forest reserve created in United States. It is the largest flat top mountain in the world.
Montrose County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,276. The county seat is Montrose, for which the county is named.
Mesa County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 146,723. The county seat is Grand Junction. The county was named for the many large mesas in the area, including Grand Mesa.
Gunnison County is the fifth-most extensive of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,324. The county seat is Gunnison. The county was named for John W. Gunnison, a United States Army officer and captain in the Army Topographical Engineers, who surveyed for the transcontinental railroad in 1853.
Delta County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 30,952. The county seat is Delta.
The Town of Cedaredge is a Home Rule Municipality in Delta County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 2253 at the 2010 United States Census. Cedaredge sits in the Surface Creek Valley beneath the southern slopes of the Grand Mesa, the largest mesa in the world. Its elevated vantage point affords southern views of the San Juan Mountains, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and the communities of Delta, Olathe, and Montrose. Cedaredge is a small, agricultural community which produces beef cattle, apples, peaches, and wine from the region's few basic vineyards. Tourist attractions include Cedaredge Golf Club, Historic Pioneer Town, and an art gallery and craft store housed in a renovated apple packing shed. Regional sporting activities include camping, trophy hunting, hiking and Gold Medal fishing at more than 250 lakes on the Grand Mesa. During the winter locals partake in snowmobiling and Nordic skiing on the Mesa's trails. Powderhorn Resort is located 30 miles (48 km) north of Cedaredge and has ski terrain such as groomers, bumps, glades, and boulder fields, as well as two terrain parks.
Delta is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Delta County, Colorado, United States. The population was 8,915 at the 2010 census, up from 6,400 at the 2000 census. The United States Forest Service headquarters of the Grand Mesa, Gunnison, and Uncompahgre National Forests are located in Delta.
Montrose is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Montrose County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 19,132 at the 2010 United States Census. The main road that leads in and out of Montrose is U.S. Highway 50. The town is located in cardinal-western Colorado, in the upper Uncompahgre Valley and is an economic, labor, and transportation waypoint for the surrounding recreation industry. It is also the home of a few major engineering projects, namely the Gunnison Tunnel.
The Western Slope refers to a region of the state of Colorado incorporating everything in the state west of the Continental Divide. Bodies of water west of the Divide flow toward the Pacific Ocean. Water that falls and flows east of the Divide heads east. The Western Slope encompasses about 33% of the state, but has just 10% of the state's residents. The eastern part of the state, including the San Luis Valley and the Front Range is the more populous portion of the state.
The Gunnison River is a tributary of the Colorado River, 180 miles (290 km) long, in the Southwestern state of Colorado. It is the largest tributary of the Colorado River in Colorado, with a mean flow of 2,570 cu ft/s (73 m3/s).
The Uncompahgre River is a tributary of the Gunnison River, approximately 75 mi (121 km) long, in southwestern Colorado in the United States. Lake Como at 12,215 ft (3723m) in northern San Juan County, in the Uncompahgre National Forest in the northwestern San Juan Mountains is the headwaters of the river. It flows northwest past Ouray, Ridgway, Montrose, and Olathe and joins the Gunnison at Confluence Park in Delta.
White River National Forest is a National Forest in northwest Colorado. It is named after the White River that passes through its northern section. It is the most visited National Forest in the United States, primarily from users of the twelve ski areas within its boundaries.
Uncompahgre National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering 955,229 acres in parts of Montrose, Mesa, San Miguel, Ouray, Gunnison, Hinsdale, San Juan, and Delta Counties in western Colorado. Only its headquarters is in Delta County, in the city of Delta. It borders the San Juan National Forest to the south.
The Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado is a distinctive large uplift part of the Colorado Plateau. Uncompahgre is a Ute Indian word that describes the water: "Dirty Water" or "Rocks that make Water Red".
Unaweep Canyon is a geologically unique canyon that cuts across the Uncompahgre Plateau, Mesa County, in western Colorado. It is unique because two creeks, East Creek and West Creek, flow out of opposite ends of the canyon, separated by the almost imperceptible Unaweep Divide. State Highway 141 runs inside Unaweep Canyon between Whitewater and Gateway, one segment of the Colorado-designated Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic Byway. The Unaweep Divide, elevation 7,008 ft (2,136 m), is near mile marker 135 on SH 141.
The Gunnison National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering 1,672,136 acres in Mesa, Gunnison, Hinsdale and Saguache Counties in Western part of the U.S. state of Colorado. It borders the White River National Forest to the north, the Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forests to the west, the San Isabel National Forest to the east and the Rio Grande National Forest to south. It lies in parts of five counties. In descending order of land area within the forest they are Gunnison, Saguache, Hinsdale, Delta, and Montrose counties.
Blue Mesa Reservoir is an artificial reservoir located on the upper reaches of the Gunnison River in Gunnison County, Colorado. The largest lake located entirely within the state, 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. Managed as part of the Curecanti National Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service, Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest lake trout and Kokanee salmon fishery in Colorado.
Land's End Observatory is a ranger observatory on the rim of Grand Mesa in Colorado. It is accessible from the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway via Land's End Road, which is about half paved and half gravel. The observatory is about 10 miles west of Colorado State Highway 65. Land's End Road descends as an all-gravel road from the observatory down to U.S. Route 50, and the observatory can be accessed from that direction as well.
State Highway 65 (SH 65) is a state highway in Colorado that crosses the Grand Mesa. The highway along with a road to Lands End Overlook were designated as the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway in 1996. SH 65's southern terminus is at SH 92 east of Delta, and its northern terminus is at Interstate 70 (I-70) and U.S. Route 6 (US 6) northeast of Palisade.
Kannah Creek is a watershed that descends from the top of the Grand Mesa west southwest, where it meets the Gunnison River about 25 miles south of Grand Junction, Colorado. It offers many recreational opportunities, irrigation, and is an important source of drinking water for Grand Junction. The Grand Mesa is one of the largest flat topped mountains in the world and has over 300 lakes and reservoirs on top, many of which are in the Kannah Creek watershed, which help retain much of Grand Junction's drinking water throughout the year as the snowpack melts and converts into runoff. Kannah Creek is also the namesake for the locally popular Kannah Creek Brewing Company. Kannah Creek is an extremely important source of water, originating on an elevated oasis, in an otherwise very arid region.
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