Blue Mesa Reservoir

Moon Rising over Blue Mesa Reservoir, Gunnison, Colorado

Twenty mile long Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest lake in the state of Colorado. With 96 miles of shoreline, the Blue Mesa offers many opportunities for recreation on the water. Lay back, enjoy the sun, and sail on one of the reservoir's three open basins. Windsurfing is popular among those looking to get a workout on the water. Boaters can explore several arms of the reservoir which reach into secluded canyons. Water skiers can practice their sport in the late months of summer, July and August, when waters warm slightly.

All boaters on Blue Mesa Lake should be aware that strong afternoon winds, sometimes accompanied by storms, can cause hazardous conditions. Be weather-wise. Watch for threatening cloud build ups. As soon as strong winds begin to blow, head for shore. Water temperatures remain cold through much of the season. Windsurfers and water skiers are advised to wear wet suits.

Blue Mesa Fishing

The Blue Mesa Reservoir offers some of the best fishing in the state and the largest Kokanee Salmon fishery in the country. Even when local rivers are high, you can hook big fish in the Blue Mesa. Or visit during winter and try ice fishing. Be sure to check out our Fishing Reports on our Fishing Page for insider information from local guides. If you’re looking to get the most out of our fishing trip to the Blue Mesa, hire one of our local fishing guides and they’ll take you to all of the best locations for catching big fish.

Blue Mesa Lodging Information

From camping to cabins, the options for Blue Mesa lodging are endless. Check out our Gunnison Lodging Page for the options closest to the reservoir. Or check out our cabin rentals page for all the insider info on Blue Mesa cabins. Some of our partners even offer on-site fishing guide services.

Blue Mesa Reservoir Boat Inspections

In order to protect these valuable recreational waters, all motorized watercraft launching in Curecanti National Recreation Area are required to be inspected for invasive mussels and, if necessary, decontaminated in accordance with procedures set by the Colorado Department of Wildlife. In addition to the mandatory inspection prior to launch, all motorized watercraft leaving Blue Mesa, Morrow Point, or Crystal Reservoirs will undergo a second inspection to verify the watercraft has been cleaned, drained and dried. In 2012 new regulations were adopted that address non-motorized watercraft. For more information on inspections, please visit the park website to find out more about current inspection regulations.

Fees on Blue Mesa Reservoir:

Bringing your own boat? All motorized and/or state-registered vessels on Blue Mesa Reservoir will be required to have a boat permit.

  • $30.00 for an annual permit (calendar year)
  • $10.00 for a 14-day permit
  • $4.00 for a 2-day permit

These user fees are half-price for those visitors who possess the Federal Interagency Senior or Access Pass.