The Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area is a vast Rocky Mountain Range wilderness that is located just north of Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park. This is a very large wilderness area that features high mesas overlooking the majestic Gunnison River Gorge. This territory is where the Colorado high desert meets the lush green Rocky Mountains, so a wide variety of environmental experiences can be found here. A wide variety of recreational options are part of the venue too and there truly is a something to capture the interest of everybody that ventures into this picturesque place!
Most of the northern end of the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area is a pristine high mesa river canyon wilderness area. Most of this wilderness area can only be accessed by hiking, horseback riding or ATV. The northern end of this park is well suited for back country adventurists. Photographers are also drawn to this wilderness for the opportunity to capture wildlife photos and dramatic high mesa landscape images.
In the southern end of this vast Conservation Area near Montrose, Colorado is where the fun begins, especially for motocross and ATV riders! The area closest to Montrose and Delta on the western side of Gunnison Gorge is managed as an outdoor recreation area for all terrain vehicles. This gigantic off-road vehicle playground offers something challenging for every skill level and the terrain certainly is conducive for letting it all hang out! At the entranceway is a motorcycle and mountain bike track that offer a well designed skills course. There are trials sections too, so this is a good place to practice for the real thing.
There is literally one big tall eroded smooth sandstone mound after another along the dirt road in the southwestern end of this Conservation Area and the pale yellow mounds actually are the main attraction for ATV riders. The trails go up, over and around in all directions, so all that a rider has to do is gas it and go to have a great time blazing the trails in this place!
The access road to the ATV recreation area in this park is located just a few miles north of Montrose on Highway 550. Falcon Road runs east a few miles to the Conservation Area and there is directional signage near the first staging area. By following the main dirt road north through the Conservation Area a loop tour can be done, because the dirt road eventually heads back to Highway 550 north near Delta. After passing the ATV recreation area, there are several dirt road trails that head to Gunnison Gorge overlooks. The dirts trails to the gorge can be quite challenging, so it pays to do some research before committing to the venture. Campsites can be found at the end of the river gorge trails, so those seeking a back country ATV adventure are in luck!
As can be seen, there is something to capture the interest of anybody that visits this place and this is what makes the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area such a great choice for an adventure. This article primarily focuses on the recreational side of this big park and there is plenty more to explore in the deep wilderness areas along the river. When visiting the neighboring Curecanti Recreation Area and Black Canyon, this vast Conservation Area simply is a must to do in order to complete the grand tour!
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