graphicNestled between the high alpine meadows of the Grand Mesa and West Elk Mountains, red rock canyons and the rugged terrain of the Uncompahgre Plateau, Delta County is a land of dinosaurs and Ute Indians; fur traders and cowboys; fruit growers and artists; sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts.

A visit to Fort Uncompahgre, located in Confluence Park, is like stepping back in time more than 150 year, when the area was hunted by mountain men and Ute Indians and a small fort marked the earliest trading post in western Colorado. Today, Fort Uncompahgre is a living history museum where knowledgeable interpreters provide a realistic portrayal of frontier life.

The Gold Medal Waters of the Gunnison River roar through Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. In some sections, slanting rays of sunlight seldom penetrate to the bottom of this 2,000-foot-depth canyon, thus the name, Black Canyon. The north rim access of this vast, sheer chasm of schist and gneiss can be reached via Highway 92 south through Crawford; the south rim is accessed from Montrose.

Grand Mesa, a place the Ute Indians#û called "Thunder Mountain," derived its name from Spanish explorers, who called it "mesa grade," or large table. This is an apt description for the world’s largest tabletop mountain. With over 300 reservoirs and lakes, Grand Mesa is a "grande" sportsman’s paradise. Grand mesa offers an incredible array of outdoor activities —- hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, ATV, downhill and cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Dry Mesa Fossil Quarry on the Uncompahgre Plateau was discovered by amateur fossil hunter from Delta. Today the quarry is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, which offers interpretive guided tours during the summer months. Excavation continues under the guidance of the Earth Science Museum of Brigham Young University.

 

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