The Grand Mesa is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts all year long, but winter transforms the world's largest flat-top mountain into a haven for those looking to play in the snow. Encompassing over 500 square miles and reaching an elevation over 11,000 feet, the Mesa receives more than 250 inches of light, fluffy snow each year. Explore some of the best ways to get out and enjoy the Grand Mesa this winter!
© Photo by Powderhorn
Ski and Snowboard at Powderhorn Mountain Resort
If you’re looking for epic pow, affordable lift tickets, no lines, and friendly locals, then you have to check out Powderhorn Resort. With 1600 acres of mountain terrain, 250 inches of average snowfall, four lifts including a high-speed quad, and the best tree skiing in the Rocky Mountains, you’ll wonder why you haven’t ventured a little further west before. The resort has a perfect balance of 20 percent beginner, 50 percent intermediate, and 30 percent advance skiing. The mountain also offers uphill ski access at no cost for those who are determined to earn their turns, just stop in at the ticket window to get your free uphill access ticket. Also, Grand Junction has some of the most affordable hotels in the state and is only 45 minutes from the Powderhorn. See you on the slopes and now you have considerably more cash in your pocket!
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
It only takes one trip to realize why this is considered some of the best cross-country ski terrain in the country. The professionally groomed cross-country ski trails are maintained by the Grand Mesa Nordic Council. They create and maintain a network of trails that both novice and expert skiers enjoy.
Snowshoers are allowed on any of the cross-country ski trails. The Nordic Counsel just asks that you trek in the snow alongside trails to help keep them in great shape for everyone. Don’t feel like you’re limited just to the cross-country ski trails, the Grand Mesa provides endless opportunities, including Glacier Springs Picnic Area, Mesa Top Trailhead, and Land of Lakes.
County Line Trail is a hot spot for both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The relatively flat terrain makes it accessible to beginners as well as though with more experience under their belt. The trail is accompanied by stunning overlooks of several lakes and well as views of the Grand Valley below. Learn more about cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the Mesa!
The Grand Mesa is, well, grand! Spanning over 500 square miles, the best way to experience all the breathtaking views and elaborate network of trails in the winter is from a snowmobile. And renting from Grand Mesa Adventures makes it convenient and easy and you can hire a guide too! Much of the trail network is marked to keep you on track.
© Photo by Ben.fairbanks
The Grand Mesa is peppered with over 300 lakes, allowing for a plethora of fishing year-round! During the winter, many of the lakes freeze over but the Snake River Cutthroat Trout remain hungry and eager to bite. Pack your gear, and a thermos or two of hot chocolate, and head out on the ice! Make sure your fishing license is up to date before you go.
© Photo by Jaynarosetreter
Old Mesa Ski Hill, affectionately known by locals as Old Powderhorn, is a common destination for snowshoers and backcountry skiers, but it also happens to be the locals’ favorite sledding hill for both kids and adults. Arrive equipped with your own sled or tube and be prepared to have a hoot-hollering good time.