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High Mesa Grassland Research Natural Area

The High Mesa Grassland began as a Research Natural Area (RNA) and became an Instant Wilderness Study Area (ISA) when Congress passed the Federal Land Policy and Management Act in 1976. This area spans over a rolling mesa and the steep slopes of Table Mountain, locally known as Sommerville Table.

Total Area: 682 acres
Elevation Range: ~8,500 to ~9,100 feet
BLM Field Office: Royal Gorge
Designated: 1976 (Instant Wilderness Study Area)

Location: The High Mesa Grassland ISA is located in Fremont County, approximately 13 miles northwest of Cañon City. Be aware that access is incredibly limited to this area.

Flora & Fauna: Vegetation consists mainly of 17 species of native grasses, oakbrush, conifers, and mountain shrubs. Fauna includes elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, black bear, mountain lion, bobcat, ringtail, gray fox, coyote, wild turkey, bald and golden eagles, and a diverse mix of migratory birds.

Recreation: Activities include hiking, horseback riding, and photography. For more information, visit the Recreation page. Please note that though unconfined recreation is encouraged in wilderness study areas, specific types of recreation may be barred from a specific area to prevent degradation of natural conditions.

Click here for additional information about the High Mesa Grassland ISA from the Royal Gorge Field Office.


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Royal Gorge Field Office  |  (719) 269-8500  |  3028 E. Main St., Cañon City, CO 81212