Recreation Areas

National Conservation Area

[Dominguez Canyon Wilderness]



The Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area is nestled within the Uncompahgre Plateau, where  Cottonwood, Escalante, Big Dominguez, and Little Dominguez Creeks tumble through red-rock sandstone canyons to empty into the Gunnison River. This area includes Dominguez Canyon Wilderness, where water running year-round  through Little Dominguez Creek provides habitat for birds, mammals, lizards and other species. Desert bighorn sheep can also be spotted grazing beside cliffs. In addition to providing excellent rock climbing opportunities, the rugged canyons and bluffs here hold geological and paleontological resources spanning 600 million years. Rock art on the canyon walls and archaeological sites on the mesas are evidence of thousands of years of Native American hunting and travel. Meanwhile, historical traces have also been left behind by early miners and settlers. In addition, the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, a 19th century Mexican trade route, passes through this region.

Field Offices:  Grand Junction & Uncompahgre

Total Area:  209,610 acres
Elevation Range:  4,700 - 8,200 feet
Average River Gradient:  7 feet/mile

  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Geological marvels
  • Heritage tourism
  • Hiking and backpacking
  • Horseback riding
  • Hunting
  • Mountain biking
  • National Trail
  • Off-highway vehicles
  • Rock climbing
  • Water recreation
  • Wilderness
  • Wildlife viewing
  • 4x4 and
    jeep touring
Attractions, Facilities, & Services:
  • Boat launches
  • Footbridge access across Gunnison River
  • Campgrounds
  • Restrooms
  • Picnic areas
  • Available in Delta and Grand Junction: lodging, restaurants and shops

Directions:  To the east side via Bridgeport Bridge: from Grand Junction, travel south on US-50, past Whitewater and Bridgeport Road. To the north side via Dominguez Campground: from Grand Junction, travel south US-50. At Whitewater, turn right onto Highway 141 and continue to the Tabeguache Trail turnoff. To the south side: from Delta, travel west on Highway 348 and turn right onto 25 Mesa Road/D Road.



Additional Information:
About Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area

Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area and Dominguez Canyon Wilderness brochure