Editor’s note: This is part of a sporadic series about Colorado’s Scenic Highways and Byways.
One of the best views in all of Colorado is looking down from atop the Grand Mesa.
Plenty are views of lakes, streams and evergreen. From Delta, the best way to access the byway is from Cedaredge, following U.S. Route 65 to a steep climb that eventually takes you atop the mesa, which sits at 11,000 feet in elevation.
In the wintertime, there is snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling and more. When the snow melts, a lush green covers the Grand Mesa. And in the fall, some of the most beautiful autumn colors are on display.
Porcupines, mountain lions, coyotes, red fox, elk, and deer thrive there and more than 300 stream-fed lakes swarm with rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout, according to CDOT.
The 63-mile trek ends at I-70 near Palisade, but only after coming off the mesa into a sea of canyon and plateaus.
Grand Mesa, like the Dinosaur Diamond and the San Juan Skyway is designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as a National Scenic Byway in 1996. It is one of 13 America’s Byways designated in Colorado.