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The Palisade

The Palisade

The Palisade WSA (Photo by John Fielder)

The Palisade Wilderness Study Area is characterized by steep cliffs and deep rugged canyons, rolling out to flat, desert valley bottoms. In places, the walls tower 2,000 feet above the canyon floor. The area's main feature, The Palisade, is a towering, red-rock buttress, rising 1,700 feet above the confluence of West Creek and the Dolores River. Also within this area are numerous hoodoos, jagged cliffs, and a series of waterfalls that tumble 1,700 feet in 1.5 miles.



Total Area: 26,766 acres
Elevation Range: ~4,600 to ~9,450 feet
BLM Field Office: Grand Junction
Designated: 1980 (Wilderness Study Area)

Location: The Palisade WSA is located in Mesa County, approximately 60 miles south of Grand Junction; immediately north of Gateway.

Flora & Fauna: Vegetation consists mainly of pinyon-juniper, oakbrush, aspen, ponderosa pine, and pockets of riparian vegetation. Fauna includes brown, brook and rainbow trout in the North Fork of West Creek; the rare, Nokomis Fritillary butterfly, mule deer, elk, mountain lion, black bear, wild turkey, gray fox, raccoon, ringtail, squirrel, coyote, great horned owl, golden eagles, various other raptors, rattlesnake, bull snake, the collared lizard, and chukar.

Recreation: Activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, rock climbing, and photography. This area is remote and has no developed trail systems; recreation is encouraged only with the aid of detailed maps and backcountry skills. For more information, visit the Recreation page. Please note that though unconfined recreation is encouraged in WSAs, specific types of recreation may be barred from a specific area to prevent degradation of natural conditions.

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Grand Junction Field Office  |  (970) 244-3000  |  2815 H Rd., Grand Junction, CO 81506