Frequently Asked Questions

What does the name "Curecanti" mean?
Curecanti National Recreation area is named after a Ute Indian sub-chief who roamed through eastern and southern Colorado from the 1860s to 1870s.

Why aren't there more trees?
The average precipitation at Curecanti is less than 12" a year, which is why there are few trees around Blue Mesa Reservoir.

How big is Blue Mesa Reservoir?
Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest body of water in Colorado. At maximum capacity, the reservoir is 20 miles long, and has approximately 96 miles of shoreline.

When does East Portal Road open?
Typically East Portal Road is open by mid-April, and closes beginning to mid-November.

What is that black and white bird with the long tail?
Black-billed Magpie

Where can I swim in Blue Mesa?
Swimming is permitted anywhere in Blue Mesa Reservoir, except within 100 feet of marinas and docks, between the buoy line above the dams, within 100 feet of Lake City, Middle and Lake Fork bridges, or from an unanchored boat. Good places to swim are Windsurf Beach, Old Highway 50 Beach and Dry Creek.

Where can I have a picnic?
Picnic areas are widely dispersed throughout the recreation area, and are shown on our park map.

What is that thing that looks like a gopher?
Gunnison's prairie dog

Last updated: August 12, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

102 Elk Creek
Gunnison, CO 81230


970 641-2337 x205

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