Are you planning to make the drive up Grand Mesa to check out the fall colors? If so, there is one essential stop you'll need to make.

Have you ever visited the Wild Rose Picnic Area on the Grand Mesa? I was born and raised in Grand Junction, and until four years ago, had never heard of it. It's just a hop, skip, and breathtaking drive down the road.

As it turns out, most people are unaware of its existence. If you stop and think about it, this is a good thing. Each time I've visited the area, I had it entirely to myself.

Before Western Colorado weather gets any colder, make a point to visit this area off Lands End Road on the Grand Mesa. If you love magnificent scenery, privacy, excellent picnic facilities, all at the low, low price of FREE, you'll definitely enjoy the Wild Rose Picnic Area.

The foliage in this area is far denser than we're used to in Western Colorado. There are streams-o'-plenty, and excellent facilities.

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How do you find it? Just head East out of Grand Junction on Highway 50. Turn to head North on Kannah Creek Road, and continue until you reach Lands End Road. Just stay on Lands End, and it will take you directly to the turnoff.

Grand Junction to Wild Rose Picnic Area
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The Wild Rose Picnic Area is far enough up Lands End to be affected when they close the road in winter. I spoke with the U.S. Forest Service today, and according to them, the Wild Rose Picnic Area will be open until December 1, 2019. This caught me by surprise. Somehow, I had it in my mind it closed earlier than that. Apparently not.

Are you looking to get out of the valley, enjoy some peace and quiet, all on a budget and without racking up beaucoup miles on your vehicle? Set a course for the Wild Rose Picnic Area. Take a lunch, or don't, it doesn't matter. The views and streams alone make the trip worthwhile.

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