Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway


  • DesignationNational Scenic Byway (1996)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesHistoric
  • LocationCO
  • Length63 miles
Byway Visitor Information
Grand Mesa National Scenic and Historic Byway
Statewide Byway Partners
Downloadable Colorado Byways Guide
Colorado Tourism
Atop the Grand Mesa
Sally Pearce Photo


This "playground in the sky" climbs from the rugged Plateau Canyon floor to the cool evergreen mesa forests, 11,000 feet up. Featured are hundreds of sparkling lakes, wildflower meadows and forests of shimmering aspen and pine. Take a side trip to Lands End Overlook where the Grand Valley unfolds below.

Local Byway Partners
  • Care for Colorado Coalition
  • Colorado Byways Map Download

Driving Directions

From I-70, take CO-65N and CO-330E to 57 1/2 Rd for 26 miles, then take 59 Rd, Forest Rd 121 and Forestr Rd 257 to Forest Rd 2571E for 18 miles until you reach Grand Mesa. From Grand Mesa, follow Forestr Rd 257 and Forest Rd 121 to Surface Creek Rd in Delta County, and continue on this road for 14 miles to Cedaredge.

Points of Interest

  • Grand Mesa National Forest

    The Grand Mesa National Forest is a forest in Mesa, Delta and Garfield Counties in Western Colorado.

  • Palisade Historical Society

    The Palisade Historical Society is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and communicating the unique history of this small, Western Colorado town which was settled in the 1890s.


  • Autumn on the Mesa

    Day 1
    Starting in Ridgway, enjoy breakfast at True Grit Café, named after the movie that was filmed here. Set up camp in nearby Ridgway State Park, a 1,000-acre reservoir off the Uncompahgre River. Spend the day hiking, boating or fishing, and rest through the night at camp. Alternatively, return to town to visit the creative district.
    Day 2
    Pack a picnic for a 2-hour drive through the Grand Mesa National Forest. Stop for a brisk hike on any of the many trails and set up lunch in an alpine meadow. Continue to Cedaredge, located on the southern side of Grand Mesa, where you can visit vineyards and orchards and enjoy live music. In October, plan your visit during Applefest. Before sunset, head to Lands End Overlook, the world’s largest flat-topped mountain, where you can see as far as your originating point near Ridgway.

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