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Have you heard of Lone Mesa State Park? Don’t worry if you haven’t – it’s currently only open to a select group of people! While the park is being developed for public use, it is accessible to visitors who have obtained special hunting permits.
Limited public access means that Lone Mesa’s 11,760 acres represent real wilderness. Lone Mesa is located in southwest Colorado at elevations between 7,200 and 9,000 feet. At the lower elevations, the park’s landscape is dominated by sagebrush. It is home to “cushion bladderpod,” an extremely rare plant native to the area that produces yellow flowers. Higher elevations near the top of Lone Mesa feature aspen, 400-year-old ponderosa pines, and Douglas fir trees.
Lone Mesa’s diverse landscape is home to many species of Colorado wildlife. The rare Roundtail chub has been spotted in Plateau Creek, along with trout and a variety of other freshwater fish. Lynx are occasionally seen passing through the park’s higher elevations, along with more common bobcats. Lower elevations host wild turkeys, elk, deer, black bears, and many other mammals.
Lone Mesa’s wildlife attracts big game hunters, who are able to apply for special access permits that are selected through a drawing each summer. If you’re interested in hunting in this special area, check out some of the big game resources in our digital repository:
- Hunting Safety – State Publications blog post
- Turkey Hunting – set of videos from Colorado Parks & Wildlife (2020)
- Elk Hunting – video from the Colorado Division of Wildlife (2001)
- Cutting up a big game carcass and Field care of big game – Colorado State University Extension, 2010
- Colorado big game reports – Colorado Parks & Wildlife, 2008-2022