Exploring Grand Mesa

Are you looking for a beautiful and peaceful place to spend your next outdoor adventure? Look no further than the Mesa Lakes Recreation Area! A day-use fee applies to those not staying at the Jumbo Lakes Campground or the Mesa Lakes Lodge. Visitors can explore the area’s many natural wonders at their own pace. Exploring Grand Mesa lakes presents countless photo opportunities. Located right next to Jumbo Reservoir, the Jumbo Lakes Campground, one of the Grand Mesa CO campgrounds, offers hiking trails that are perfect for a refreshing morning walk. For a stunning sunset view, head to Sunset Lake, surrounded by picturesque spruce and aspen forests that are especially vibrant in autumn.

The Glacier Springs Picnic Area is a centrally located spot that provides access to all of the area’s lakes, making it a great place to enjoy a leisurely picnic. The area offers picnic tables and a vault toilet near the parking lot, with a fantastic view of three of the area’s lakes. To see our Road Trip to Grand Mesa Click , HERE.

Jumbo Reservoir with the brilliant aspen trees reflected in the car on the way, framed by pine trees

Glacier Springs Lake

One of the most picturesque lakes in the area is Glacier Springs Lake, which offers stunning reflections of the surrounding forests and cabins. Meanwhile, Beaver Lake, where you will find Mesa Lake Lodge, is an ideal spot for capturing a breathtaking sunrise photo, with the sun rising over the hills to the east and illuminating the lodge and the surrounding forests with its warm glow.

Glacier Springs Lake with a cloudy sky, and surrounded by pine trees, with reflections in the water
Glacier Springs Lake with fall colors in the aspen trees, and reflections in the water

Beaver Lake

Mesa Lake Lodge on Beaver Lake with aspen trees in peak, fall color with reflections
Mesa Lake Lodge on Beaver Lake at sunrise with orange and purple clouds reflected in the water

If you’re up for a hike, don’t miss the 1.5-mile trail around Mesa Lake, which, along with the Crag Crest Trail, is a “must-do” hike on the Grand Mesa. This well-maintained trail takes about an hour to complete and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply looking to relax and unwind, the Mesa Lakes Recreation Area is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.

Jumbo Campground

If you’re looking for the perfect way to experience the Mesa Lakes Recreation Area, we highly recommend the Jumbo Lakes Campground. With only 26 sites, this campground is an ideal choice for those seeking a more secluded and peaceful retreat. Fifteen of the sites offer electricity, while potable water and vault toilets are available on-site, though there is no dump station.

Situated right on Jumbo Lake, one of the smaller lakes in the area, the campground is just a few steps away from the lake. A paved path leads to Sunset Lake, while a paved road takes you to the Glacier Springs Picnic Area, which provides access to the other lakes in the area. You can book your site preferences ,HERE. Keep in mind that the campground is open until October 15th or until the first snow, whichever comes first.

Sunset Lake

Panorama of Sunset Lake with a beautiful, cloudy sky, reflected in the water, and the lake is framed by pine trees
 Sunset Lake with a beautiful, cloudy sky, reflected in the water, and the lake is framed by pine trees

We stayed here for 9 nights a couple of years ago and had a wonderful time.

There are many Grand Mesa CO campgrounds to choose from.

If camping isn’t your style, consider staying at the Mesa Lakes Lodge, located on Beaver Lake. They offer cabins for rent, boat rentals, and a dining hall with a limited menu. We haven’t stayed in the cabins, we did dine at the hall and can attest that the hamburgers were delicious!

Whether you prefer camping or a more traditional lodging experience, the Mesa Lakes Recreation Area has something for everyone. Don’t miss your chance to experience the natural beauty of this stunning area!

Hiking at Mesa Lakes Recreation Area

If you’re looking for a beautiful hike in the Mesa Lakes Recreation Area, we highly recommend the South Mesa Lake Trail. This hike begins at the Glacier Springs Picnic Area on the east end of Mesa Lake and takes you through a stunning pine forest. While it’s only a mile and a half out and back, it takes around two hours to complete. The trail is well-maintained and relatively easy, although some may consider it moderate due to the elevation gain. Once you reach the top of the climb, you’ll start to descend and get glimpses of South Mesa Lake. As you continue to descend, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the entire lake surrounded by the beautiful forest.

Panorama of South Mesa Lake, with a beautiful, cloudy sky and pine trees in the background

Another great hike to explore in the Mesa Lakes Recreation Area is the West Bench Trail. This easy 13-mile out-and-back hike starts at the Jumbo Reservoir on Highway 65. It takes you along Sunset Lake before turning north along Mesa Creek. The trail then continues out to an area above the Powderhorn Ski Resort. While we haven’t personally completed the entire 13.5-mile hike, the areas we have explored north of Sunset Lake are gorgeous. The West Bench Trail is a must-do for any hiking enthusiast visiting the Mesa Lakes Recreation Area.

West Bench Trail

Meadow on the West Bench Trail with a pond and pine trees
Meadow on the West Bench Trail with a pond and pine trees
Stream on the West Bench Trail flowing over boulders with a Moody, cloudy sky

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