Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway

State: Colorado
Length: 63 miles / 100.8 km
Time to Allow: The drive takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes along Highway 65, and about 30 minutes roundtrip on the spur road to Land’s End.

While the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway is only 63 miles long, it’s filled with tons to see. Take an hour or two to enjoy a leisurely scenic drive or plan for a couple of days to see every sight and enjoy the “playground in the sky.” The byway features glistening lakes, meadows, forests filled with pines and aspens, along much more ready to delight you and your family.

The name of the byway comes from the Grand Mesa mountain, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world. It spans 500 square miles and has elevations between 5,000 and 11,237 feet. Made with basalt and lava, the sedimentary rocks offer incredible views you will fall in love with at first sight. Find every outdoor activity you can imagine on this byway from biking, hiking, camping, fishing, boating, ATVing, horseback riding, winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and much more.

Embark on your journey starting in the south at Cedaredge in west-central Colorado, not far from the Utah border, before heading north up to the Mesa. The town offers a remarkable museum called Pioneer Town where you can experience life from the past. Enjoy a variety of restaurants, too, or try out wine or biking tours. You can also paddleboat, rafting, or kayaking with local rentals. Check out American Eagle Entertainment for a night of karaoke too.

Just south of the trail are a few popular towns, including Orchard City and Delta right off the Gunnison River, where you can fish and camp. Another highlight is the Devil’s Thumb, a large rock sitting up high ready to hitchhike a ride around the mountain. While you may be able to see the rock from a distance, you cannot visit from February through July due to nesting raptors.

After you have had your fill of town, head to the Grand Mesa National Forest. Before you get there, enjoy the views of orchards, groves filled with stately trees, and wildlife. The area offers a variety of festivals in the fall, including and Applefest and several music festivals too. Tucked in next to Grand Mesa is a tiny town named Skyway filled with enchanting nature. The whole area sits in a sea of forests and lakes, making it a wooded wonderland.

In the Land-O-Lakes area, find a very short paved trail that’s easy to bike and hike. Overlook a series of reservoirs and lakes before circling back for lunch. It’s best to take the trail in the summer for gorgeous views of flowers and clear water. With three hundred lakes and reservoirs, you can find your own little haven for camping and fishing. Get away from the world filled with stress and anxiety and step into a haven ready to remind you of all the wonders of nature.

More Colorado Byways

You can check out additional Byways in Colorado by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the Colorado Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.