Fishing · River/Creek · Views
Need to Know
Releases from Morrow Point Dam can cause strong currents and fluctuating water levels which could impact the length of the trail as it approaches the river. When you arrive, check to see if the spillways are open. If they are open, be cautious near the river as it may be moving swifter than normal.
The Mesa Creek Trail provides you the opportunity to experience what it is like to be at the bottom of the Black Canyon along the Gunnison River without having to descend from the rim. To access the trailhead, take the Cimarron entrance off Highway 50 and follow the road past the campground to the parking lot at the Morrow Point Dam.
From the parking lot at the dam, the trail drops down to the river via a gravel trail. The trail crosses over the Crystal River Reservoir and then follows the far side of the trail along a narrow, singletrack trail that alternates between rock and dirt. The trail rolls along the riverside for roughly 3/4 of a mile. Part way along the trail, there is a side trail that leads to a small waterfall. After enjoying the small waterfall, the trail continues until it drops to the riverside.
As you run along the trail, look at the steep canyon walls surrounding you. This gives you an opportunity to see what it is like to be along the river in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which is rather down the river. There are several places along the trail where you can get in the water without being in the current, which can be fast at times. When you reach the end of the trail, take a moment to enjoy the scenery before turning around and making your way back to the parking area.
On the way back, you can take a small trail that leads closer to the Morrow Point Dam, which gives you a better idea for just how tall the dam is.
Shared By: Trail Run Project Staff