Crag Crest Trail
Grand Junction, CO
Crag Crest Trail
Crag Crest is a particularly scenic section of the long east-west ridge that separates western Colorado’s Grand Mesa into its Gunnison and Colorado River watersheds. Some sources claim that the 50-square-mile mesa is the largest flat-topped mountain in the world. It rises abruptly from the desert environment east of Grand Junction into a lush conifer forest averaging over 10,000 feet above sea level. Dozens of deep blue lakes lie just below the crest of the mesa, making this an especially pretty hike. About 10 million years ago a series of volcanic eruptions covered the top of the Grand Mesa with a thick layer of basaltic rock, and from all appearances Crag Crest must have been a major volcanic vent during the eruptions. Today the rocky ridge rises 500 feet above the surrounding plateau. Over the course of time the great weight of the volcanic deposits pressing down on the mesa caused the land to tilt slightly inward, forming long, narrow depressions along the top of the mesa. These depressions eventually became the jewel-like lakes that are now scattered below the ridge.
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Trail Statistics & Information
|Nearby City||Grand Junction|
|Elevation Gain||1,160 ft|
|Skill Level||This is a designated National Recreation Trail.|
|Season||Midsummer through mid-fall. The upper parts of the trail are usually covered with snow from November through June.|
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