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Curecanti National Recreation Area

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Home to Crystal, Morrow Point, and Blue Mesa reservoirs, the Curecanti National Recreation Area is a destination for water-based recreation in the Rocky Mountains. This park offers a wide variety of activities such as trout and salmon fishing, boating, camping, and bird watching to enjoy the areas surrounding the Gunnison River. As the largest body of water in Colorado, Blue Mesa Reservoir is home to a number of different ecosystems to explore.

To learn more about Curecanti National Recreation Area, visit

Local Info

Please Note: There are no singletrack trails within Curecanti National Recreation Area that are open to mountain bikes. This page serves as a general overview of the area. If you're visiting the park and looking for places to ride, check out the following areas:

Visiting Tips

Curecanti National Recreation Area is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, weather permitting. East Portal Road is typically closed starting mid-November through mid-April. Current conditions and additional information on reservoir ice thicknesses can be found at the Curecanti website.

Camping & Lodging

There are ten campgrounds in the park with over 350 total campsites with a number of amenities for RVs or tent camping. Seasonal availability varies between campgrounds so check the website for more information and specific details on each campground, including how to make reservations.

  • Elk Creek: 160 sites. Reservations can be made for Loop A and Loop D (Loop D sites have electricity).
  • Lake Fork: 90 sites. Reservations can be made for sites in the upper and middle sections.
  • Stevens Creek: 53 sites. Reservations can be made for Loop A sites.
  • Cimarron: 21 sites. All sites are filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • East Portal: 15 sites. All sites are filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Dry Gulch: 9 sites. All sites are filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Ponderosa: 28 sites. All sites are filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Red Creek: Individual sites are first come, first served; group site by reservation only. There are 2 group sites.
  • Gateview: 6 sites. All sites are filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • East Elk Creek: Single group campsite. Reservations are required and must be made at least three days in advance.

Curecanti also offers boat-in and backcountry camping at each of the reservoirs. For more information, click here.

There is no lodging available within the recreation area other than at the campgrounds. More lodging options can be found in nearby communities of Gunnison and Montrose.

Food & Drink

Pappy's Restaurant and Pub is located at the Elk Creek Marina and is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Other dining options can be found in the nearby towns of Montrose and Gunnison.

Other Activities

Visitors to Curecanti National Recreation Area looking for other ways to explore the reservoirs will not be disappointed by the variety that the park has to offer. Boating, fishing, horseback riding, backcountry camping, and wildlife viewing are among the many activities that the park affords depending on the season. Visit Curecanti's website for more information on the park's other activities. For those looking for other activities in the area, be sure to check out the great opportunities for mountain biking and rock climbing right up the road in Gunnison.

Curecanti National Recreation Area Biking

  • 0 Miles 0 Kilometers of Trail
  • 0 Recommended Routes
  • 0 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 0 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 0 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
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