The Blue Mesa Dam is located approximately 30 miles west of the city of Gunnison, near the intersection of U.S. 50 with Colorado Highway 92, which travels along the top of the dam. The reservoir itself extends twenty miles east and comprises three main basins—the Iola, the Cebolla, and the Sapinero.
Visitors can visit the southern shore of the Iola Basin via Colorado Highway 149, which begins at the intersection of U.S. 50 and the Lake City Bridge—approximately seven miles west of the city of unison. Most of the reservoir can be accessed by U.S. 50, but certain facilities on the lake’s deep arms, such as Cebolla Creek and Soap Creek, are only able to be reached by boat or unpaved road.
The several creeks leading to the reservoir are perfect for boaters wanting to experience more open waters. These include Soap Creek, West Ek Creek, Red Creek, East Elk Creek, Willow Creek, Steuben Creek, and Beaver Creek. The recreational area extends several miles in each direction around the reservoir.
We love the environment as much as the next person, but we’re not going to lie, by far the most common way to get to Blue Mesa Res is private transportation. Especially if you’re bringing any kind of gear with you. That said, there are a few alternatives. Here’s the good news: It’s actually not that hard to get to Gunnison about 20 miles outside of Blue Mesa Res. You can take Amtrak from Denver into Gunnison. Then, your options are likely to be to rent a car, pay for a taxi, or hitch a ride.