Photos and videos: Blue Mesa Reservoir, December 2020

This page features ground-based photos of Blue Mesa Reservoir, along the Gunnison River in Curecanti National Recreation Area.

Created by 390-foot Blue Mesa Dam, the reservoir has a capacity of 829,500 acre-feet, making it the largest lake located entirely within Colorado.

Construction on Blue Mesa Dam began in 1962 under the Colorado River Storage Project, a massive federal effort to dam and develop the waters of the Upper Colorado River Basin. Blue Mesa Dam, which impounds one of the Colorado’s major tributaries, stores water for downstream use, aids in flood control, and generates hydroelectric power.

Blue Mesa Reservoir is a popular lake for boating, and boasts the largest lake trout and Kokanee salmon fisheries in the state. In addition, the area contains eight developed campgrounds and a plethora of hiking trails.

Learn more:

DateDecember 24-25, 2020
LocationBlue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado (map)
PhotographerMitch Tobin
OrganizationThe Water Desk at the University of Colorado Boulder
RightsFree to reuse under Creative Commons license, with credit to Mitch Tobin, The Water Desk

All images in this set

View this gallery for high-resolution downloads »

Explore aerial and drone imagery from The Water Desk