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Aspinall, Wayne N., Unit, CO

National Park Service

Overview

Recreation at the three reservoirs of the Aspinall Unit is managed by the National Park Service under agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation, Western Colorado Area Office - Northern Division, Grand Junction, Colorado. Formerly, the Curecanti Unit, in 1980 it was renamed the Wayne N. Aspinall Unit in honor of former Congressman Aspinall; a strong supporter of the Colorado River Storage Project. The Aspinall Unit, also referred to as the Curecanti National Recreation Area, consists of three dams and reservoirs - Morrow Point, Crystal, and Blue Mesa.Water activities at Morrow Point Reservoir include fishing and boating (pack-in boats). The concessionaire provides guided fishing opportunities and a scenic guided boat tour (1.5 miles) May 1-Oct. 1. Call the Elk Marina at (970) 641-0707 for reservations. Both Morrow Point and Crystal require a vigorous hike to reach either reservoir. The exercise is worth the trip for nature lovers and photographers. Fishing enthusiasts can select from rainbow, German brown, or lake (mackinaw) trout, or kokanee salmon.Blue Mesa Reservoir's water activities include boating, fishing, sailboarding, waterskiing, and swimming. Ice fishing and cross-country skiing are some winter activities. Camping and picnicking areas are available. The reservoir area's natural beauty is a perfect setting for nature lovers and photographers. A variety of trout and kokanee salmon are found at Blue Mesa.While no entrance fees to the recreation area are charged, there are camping and boating fees in place.Current Resevoir Water LevelsBlue Mesa Reservoir, Crystal Reservoir, There are two visitor centers, Elk Creek and Cimarron, which are operated seasonally by the National Park Service. Northeast of the town of Cimarron are the remains of a narrow-gauge trestle across the Cimarron River, on which sits Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Engine 278, a tender, and a caboose used on trips through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison when the railroad was still operational. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the trestle and its historic "rolling stock" can be viewed by the public.

Recreational Activities:

  • BOATING
  • CAMPING
  • FISHING
  • HIKING
  • HISTORIC & CULTURAL SITE
  • HUNTING
  • INTERPRETIVE PROGRAMS
  • PICNICKING
  • RECREATIONAL VEHICLES
  • VISITOR CENTER
  • WATER SPORTS
  • WILDLIFE VIEWING

Address:

National Park Service
102 Elk Creek
Grand Junction,CO,81230
Phone: 970- 641-2337
Email: cure_vis_mail@nps.gov

Directions:

Morrow Point and Crystal Reservoirs are located about 57 miles southeast of Delta on Colorado Highway 92. For Blue Mesa go east on U.S. Highway 50 from Montrose to the Lake Fork Junction of Highway 50 and 92. The dam is just off Colorado Highway 92.

Photo - Aspinall, Wayne N., Unit
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