Bay of Chickens
Bay of Chickens beach.

NPS image by Matt Johnson

On a hot summer day a dip in Blue Mesa can be refreshing and enjoyable. The shoreline of the reservoir is steep and rocky in most places, so finding a good swimming spot can be more difficult than you expect.

Good swimming spots with designated "no-wake" zones for motorcraft include:

  • Bay of Chickens (windsurfing beach, 1.2 miles west of Elk Creek)
  • Dry Creek (1 mile east of Elk Creek)
  • Old Highway 50 beach (100 yards west of Elk Creek)

Safety concerns:

  • Be aware of motorized watercraft around you. Do not assume they see you.
  • The water is cold. Surface temperatures average about 65 degrees even in the summer.
  • Be aware of the symptoms of hypothermia, which can be brought on by exposure to cold water.
  • It is illegal to jump off rock cliffs, ledges, bridges, or structures on Blue Mesa (15 feet or higher).
  • Harmful algae, also known as blue-green algae, is common and natural to our waters and found throughout Colorado. The algae can multiply rapidly to form blooms and scums, particularly in areas of shallow, warm water and in the late summer.

Last updated: March 13, 2023

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102 Elk Creek
Gunnison, CO 81230


970 641-2337 x205

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