Curecanti National Recreation Area


Three reservoirs, named for corresponding dams on the Gunnison River, form the heart of Curecanti National Recreation Area. Panoramic mesas, fjord-like reservoirs, and deep, steep and narrow canyons abound. Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado's largest body of water, and is the largest Kokanee Salmon fishery in the United States. Morrow Point Reservoir is the beginning of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and below, Crystal Reservoir is the site of the Gunnison Diversion Tunnel, a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Recently discovered dinosaur fossils, a 5,000 acre archeological district, a narrow gauge train, and traces of 6000 year old dwellings further enhance the offerings of Curecanti. For recreation there are many exciting opportunites for visitors in The area such as boating, fishing, camping, sightseeing and educational learning to enjoy while visiting.


Seasonality / Weather

Curecanti National Recreation Area as well as The Elk Creek Visitor Center is open all year. The Cimmaron Visitor Center is open intermittently mid-May through the end of September. Also, the East Portal Road is closed in winter. The road typically closes mid-November and re-opens mid-April.



U.S. Highway 50 runs the length of Curecanti between Montrose and Gunnison, Colorado. The recreation area is also accessed from Colorado Hwy 149 and Colorado Hwy 92.


Commercial airlines to Denver, Gunnison, Montrose, and Grand Junction airports.

Public Transport: 

By bus: To Gunnison, Montrose, and Grand Junction By train: To Grand Junction