West Elk Loop Scenic Byway
One of the campgrounds at Blue Mesa Reservoir
This route gives access to the White River and Gunnison National Forests, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, Blue Mesa Reservoir, and Crawford and Paonia State Parks. Europeans first came here in search of minerals, then stayed to farm and ranch. Carbondale, Hotchkiss, Crawford, Gunnison, and Crested Butte offer a rich slice of Colorado's history. Marble is where the stone for the Tomb of the Unknowns came from. The "Loop" part of this scenic byway encircles West Elk Mountain, the remains of a very large ancient volcano.
Curecanti Creek area
Black Canyon of the Gunnison at Morrow Point Lake
Coming up on Crested Butte
February, looking west across Blue Mesa Reservoir
West Elk Loop Scenic Byway area map