Type: scenic/wildlife/Multiple recreation opportunities
Access: Lower section Passenger Car Friendly / Grand Mesa National Forest on up Pickup type vehicle recommended
Distance: Approx. 55 miles round trip as described
Water: Fruita Picnic area
Glade Park is located south of Grand Junction and Fruita Colorado and “above” the Colorado National Monument. There are three ways to access the area from Grand Junction, via Little Park Road, East Monument entrance and the West Monument entrance. This post describes the route going up Little Park Road.
To access the area from 1st and Grand in Grand Junction travel West on Broadway for approximately .87 miles until you reach Monument Road. Turn left and travel another .17 miles to D Road, turn left here and follow D Road until it turns into Rosevale Road. Continue on Rosevale Road for another 1.2 miles until you reach Little Park Road on your right. Turn onto Little Park road and follow it for about 12.5 miles until you come to DS road. From this point you want to turn left onto DS Road and travel just under 1.5 miles until you come to the Glade Park store. You will know you are there when you see an observatory on your right with some old trains and just across the road is the Glade Park store.
From the Glade Park store you will want to turn left again and travel South along S. 16 ½ road. After about three miles the pavement will end and the road begins its climb towards the top. The next 3 ½ miles or so has the road twisting and turning as it passes along hillsides of oak brush and cedar trees until you come to the Mud Springs campground on your right.
Just over 1 mile or so past Mud Springs campground you will come to a “Y” in the road. If you turn left and take the high road it will lead you to Enoch Lake. Be sure to bear to the right and take the low road which will continue on up.
After continuing about another 1 ½ miles you will come to a sign indicating Grand Mesa National Forest. Yes, I know, why is there a plot of Grand Mesa National Forest so far away from Grand Mesa? I don’t know either, if you do, let me know.
For the next 4 ½ miles or so you will be traveling through the Grand Mesa National Forest as you pass by the turn off to Fruita Reservoir #1, Fruita Reservoir #2 and Fruita Reservoir #3. This whole area has various roads branching off throughout as well as a few hiking and mountain biking trails. You can basically go anywhere you want in this area as long as you remain on established roads and routes. Shortly after Fruita Reservoir #3 you will come to another cattle guard and various signs indicating private property. Please be respectful and do not trespass. From this point on until where I turned around the remainder of the trip cut through private property.
I ended my trip by passing through the gate indicating Bronco Flats and eventually turning around at the sign pointing towards the King Ranch. If you continue travelling down the road it will eventually drop back off of the mesa and connect back to DS road. We took the whole loop many years ago but unfortunately I did not put enough gas in my ride to make the whole loop. I will do it soon and either update this post or create a new one.
The Glade Park area is turning into being one of my favorite areas to take drives through. This last trip found me taking pictures of deer about every mile and many of them would stand just feet from the road and look at me. There are a number of other wildlife in the area including elk, bear, and wild turkey. On top of the many recreational opportunities, there are some fantastic views as well.