Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area was established in 2009 and covers 210,012 acres in Mesa, Delta and Montrose counties in western Colorado. Red-rock canyons, sandstone bluffs, and pinyon-juniper covered lands in the area are home to geological and paleontological resources spanning 600 million years, as well as many cultural and historic sites.
Part of the Uncompahgre Plateau’s spectacular canyon country, Ute Tribes today consider these lands an important connection to their ancestral past. Highlights include Unaweep Canyon, Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area (66,280 acres), as well as the Escalante, Cottonwood, and Little and Big Dominguez creeks that cascade through sandstone canyon walls. Paddlers and anglers are drawn to the nearly 30 miles of the Gunnison River that flows through the area, and the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, a 19th Century land trade route, also passes through the NCA.