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Lands End Observatory

Grand Mesa National Forest

Grand Mesa, Colorado

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Lands End Observatory

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  • Utah's La Sal Mountains can be seen just to the right of center.- Lands End Observatory
  • Heading down the road to Land's End.- Lands End Observatory
  • Raber's Cow Camp.- Lands End Observatory
  • The edge of Grand Mesa.- Lands End Observatory
  • Wildflowers and views.- Lands End Observatory
  • The historic observatory was built by the CCC in the 1930s.- Lands End Observatory
  • The lights of Grand Junction starting to appear at sunset.- Lands End Observatory
  • Looking toward the southwest over Gunnison Canyon.- Lands End Observatory
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful drive. Spectacular vistas. Wildflowers.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Grand Mesa, CO
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

A visit to the Land's End Observatory is a great side trip while visiting the Grand Mesa. The drive across the mesa is beautiful, and after just 5 miles you'll find the historic Raber Cow Camp, an example of the camps that was used when cattle were moved up to the mesa to graze in the summer and which functioned until the 1960s. The observatory is 12 miles from the highway. Once the original visitor center, this log building was built by the Work Project Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps crews from 1936 to 1937. The access road to the observatory was built primarily by 200 World War I veterans between 1933 and 1934 and was once called Veterans Road. Just past Land's End the road begins a harrowing hairpin-turn descent of 6,000 feet to the valley below.

Sunset is a popular time to visit Land's End, and if the clouds cooperate, the views from the edge of the mesa can be spectacular. The La Sal Mountains of eastern Utah and the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, both about 70 miles away, can often be clearly seen, and the city of Grand Junction and the Colorado River are visible far below. This is a perfect place to see the structure of the Grand Mesa itself and marvel at how abruptly the flat mesa top drops off.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(12 within a 30 mile radius)

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