The next time you find yourself with roughly three hours to spare, make your way up Lands End Road and enjoy the serenity of the Wild Rose Picnic Grounds. The scenery is magnificent, and the price, coming in at the low, low price of "free," is pretty hard to beat.

Chances are you've never heard of the Wild Rose Picnic Area (I hadn't until yesterday). Don't try looking for it on Google Maps. It seems Google hasn't heard of it, either.

To make the trek to the area, just head East out of Grand Junction on Highway 50. Turn heading North on Kannah Creek Road, and continue until you reach Lands End Road. Just stay on Lands End, and it will take you directly to the turnoff.

Do you consider yourself too busy and in need of a little more convincing? Here are five reasons why you should make plans to visit this little getaway at your next possible opportunity:

  • It's an isolated getaway with all the scenery of the Mesa, but at 26.8 miles from the Orchard Mesa City Market, it's not that long a drive.
  • The area offers everything you need - picnic tables, fire pits, restrooms, and plenty of outdoors.
  • Lands End Road is well maintained, and the area can be reached by any vehicle.
  • The natural landscape comes complete with plenty of shade courtesy of the tall trees, surprisingly few mosquitoes, cool streams, and an incredible view.
  • It's the perfect opportunity to enjoy everything our mountains have to offer, but without the need of a parks pass, and without having to set aside the better part of a day to make the drive.

Trails around the picnic grounds are maintained but do not take away from the natural ambiance of the region. Peace and quiet can be found in abundance. Those who fancy themselves botanists will find plenty to satisfy their interests.

Set aside about an hour and a half for the round trip, plus however much time you would like to spend enjoying the outdoors, and make plans to visit the Wild Rose Picnic Grounds off of Lands End Road.