The Dominguez Canyon Wilderness is characteristic of the Uncompahgre Plateau's canyon country landscape, which it lies within. The wilderness is filled with red rock canyons, sandstone bluffs, and forested mesas that all host cultural and historic sites, including rock art and wickiups. The Ute Tribes today still consider these lands an important connection to their ancestral past. There are paleontological and geological resources spanning 600 million years. Here, there is evidence that for thousands of years, the Native Americans used the area for hunting, shelter, and as a travel corridor from the Gunnison River Valley to the Uncompahgre Plateau.
Four main creeks (the Escalante, Cottonwood, Little Dominguez, and Big Dominguez) flow through the sandstone canyon walls that drain the eastern Uncompahgre Plateau. Nearly 30 miles of the *Gunnison River also flow through the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area (NCA) and, along with private property, act as a boundary for the wilderness area. Views of the San Juan Mountains, West Elk Range, Grand Mesa, and the Uncompahgre Plateau are offered here, as well. The Gunnison River is not part of the wilderness.
Total Area: 66,280 acres
Elevation Range: ~4,700 to ~8,200 feet
BLM Field Office: Grand Junction and Uncompahgre
Designated: 2009 (Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009)
Location: The Dominguez Canyon Wilderness is located in Delta, Mesa, and Montrose counties, approximately 13 miles west of Delta. It is located within the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area (NCA).
Flora & Fauna: Vegetation consists mainly of pinyon-juniper, Douglas fir, sagebrush, cottonwood, willow, river birch, tamarisk, alder, and horsetail. Fauna includes golden eagles and various other raptors, turkeys, canyon wrens, great-horned owls, pinyon jays, gray fox, coyote, raccoon, ringtail, golden-mantled squirrel, mountain lion, black bear, desert bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, the collared lizard and various other lizards, bull snake, and rattle snake.
Recreation: Activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, hunting, and photography. For more information, visit the Recreation page. Please note that though unconfined recreation is encouraged in wilderness, specific types of recreation may be barred from a specific area to prevent degradation of wilderness conditions.
Click here for additional information about the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness from the Grand Junction and Uncompahgre field offices.
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Grand Junction Field Office | (970) 244-3000 | 2815 H Rd., Grand Junction, CO 81506
Uncompahgre Field Office | (970) 240-5300 | 2465 S. Townsend Ave., Montrose, CO 81401