DENCA New Header 2022

Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area

Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area was designated by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. The newest NCA in Colorado, its designation was supported by local, regional and national interests in recognition of the outstanding resources in the area.

For additional information, contact the Grand Junction or Uncompahgre field offices.

National Conservation Area Spotlight

Known for its breathtaking scenery, Dominguez-Escalante NCA is a fine example of the spectacular canyon country of the Uncompahgre Plateau. Plan your visit and learn more about what the NCA has to offer by visiting the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area National Conservation Lands website.

Heavy snowpack increases safety concerns for BLM recreational users

Heavy snowpack this year means that stream flows could be particularly high, making recreation more hazardous. Recreational users should avoid crossing fast-moving waters in flood-prone areas.

Escalante Potholes: Located about 12 miles up Escalante Canyon in the Dominguez-Escalante NCA, the Potholes attracts picnickers and swimmers. During spring runoff, the Potholes provides unique recreational opportunities, with extreme kayakers drawn to the up to Class V+ rapids. However, hidden currents in the pothole formations can catch and hold someone under water, regardless of their strength or swimming ability. The BLM has found that most drowning deaths at the Potholes have been related to jumping or diving into the potholes, which is a prohibited activity. 

Kiosks and signage at the three-acre site warn visitors of the dangerous conditions. The BLM and Delta Sheriff's Office attempt to coordinate patrols in order to increase public safety. Personal responsibility is especially critical given that radio and cell phone reception in the canyon is often poor to non-existent. Poor reception has played a role in Potholes fatalities by delaying the ability to call for help.


Amber Koski

National Conservation Area Manager