Open Spaces and Recreation Opportunities

Best Times To Visit

The spring and fall are the best times to visit any desert area. We suggest planning a trip between March and May or between mid-August and October. If you visit in the summer start your trip early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid mid-day heat. Always bring plenty of water on any trip to the desert. Hats and sunscreen are recommended year round. Allow several hours on your visit for travel between the two trails and to enjoy the splendid views.


Historic structures and artifacts on public lands belong to all of us. Federal law prohibits damage to, or collection of, any object of antiquity such as petroglyphs, arrowheads, flint chippings, remains of ancient dwellings and walls, pottery, log cabins and other historic structures. Please leave artifacts and fossils in their natural state for others to discover and enjoy.

Preserve the natural beauty of the area by packing out what you (and perhaps others) have packed in.

Wildlife Observation Opportunities

The Gunnison River Bluffs Area provides two basic types of wildlife habitat. High on the hills in the desert environment, prairie dogs, scorpions and lizards make their home. The riparian habitat along the water provides living space for deer, birds and beaver. Enjoy the wildlife, but respect their need for space, solitude and security.

Recreation Area Map