Curecanti National Recreation Area
13 mi 20 km of trail — 0 Featured Hikes
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 www.nps.gov.
Opening and closing dates and hours vary by season for the visitor centers at Curecanti National Recreation Area. Check the park's website for current operating hours.
- Elk Creek Visitor Center: Open year round. Days and hours vary by season.
- Cimarron Visitor Center: Open seasonally. Days and hours vary by season.
Fees & Passes:
Entrance to Curecanti National Recreation Area is free. If traveling to East Portal through the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park, there is an entrance fee of $15.00 per vehicle that is valid for seven days and covers all the individuals in that vehicle. For more information on National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Passes and Boat Permits required for boating access, click here.
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: $16 -$25 per night per site, 160 sites. Reservations can be made for Loop A and Loop D (Loop D sites have electricity).
- Lake Fork: $16-$19 per night per site, 90 sites. Reservations can be made for sites in the upper and middle sections.
- Stevens Creek: $16-$19 per night per site, 53 sites. Reservations can be made for Loop A sites.
- Cimarron: $16 per night per site, 21 sites. All sites are filled on a first come, first served basis.
- East Portal: $16 per night per site, 15 sites. All sites are filled on a first come, first served basis.
- Dry Gulch: $16 per night per site, 9 sites. All sites are filled on a first come, first served basis.
- Ponderosa: $16 per night per site, 28 sites. All sites are filled on a first come, first served basis.
- Red Creek: $16 per night for individual site, $28 per night for group site, 2 sites. Individual site is first come, first served; group site by reservation only.
- Gateview: No fee, 6 sites. All sites are filled on a first come, first served basis.
- East Elk Creek: $53 per night, 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.
Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles
Curecanti National Recreation Area offers a ranger-led boat tour on the Morrow Point Reservoir through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The tour is lead twice per day starting at 10 am and 12:30 pm, every day except Tuesday. Tours are seasonally dependent, starting the beginning of June and ending after Labor Day. For more information on start and end dates or special tours for educational groups, call (970) 641-2337 x205, or visit the park's website.
Boat Tour Fees:
- Adults: $24
- All children 12 and under (children need to be 35 pounds or heavier): $12
Maps & Guidebooks
Food & Drink
Trails in Curecanti National Recreation Area - 8
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2.0 mi 3.2 km#1 Dillon Pinnacles Trail
|2.0 mi 3.2 km||Gunnison, CO|
1.8 mi 2.9 km#2 Curecanti Creek Trail
|1.8 mi 2.9 km||Montrose, CO|
1.5 mi 2.4 km#3 Crystal Creek Trail
|1.5 mi 2.4 km||Montrose, CO|
2.5 mi 4.0 km#4 Beaver Creek Trail
|2.5 mi 4.0 km||Gunnison, CO|
2.6 mi 4.2 km#5 Hermits Rest Trail
|2.6 mi 4.2 km||Montrose, CO|
0.9 mi 1.4 km#6 Pine Creek Trail
|0.9 mi 1.4 km||Gunnison, CO|
0.7 mi 1.2 km#7 Mesa Creek Trail
|0.7 mi 1.2 km||Montrose, CO|
0.6 mi 1.0 km#8 Gateview Trail
|0.6 mi 1.0 km||Lake City, CO|
Photos of Curecanti National Recreation Area - 14
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