Before Western Colorado weather gets any colder, make a point to visit this area off Lands End Road on the Grand Mesa. If you love the magnificent scenery, privacy, excellent picnic facilities, all at the low, low price of FREE, you'll definitely enjoy the Wild Rose Picnic Area.

I was born and raised in Grand Junction, and until last year had never heard of the Wild Rose Picnic Area. As it turns out, most people are unaware of its existence. If you stop and think about it, this is a good thing. Every time I've visited the area, I've had it entirely to myself.

How do you find it? 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.

Why the urgency? The Wild Rose Picnic Area is far enough up Lands End to be affected when they close the road in winter.

The foliage in this area is far denser than we're used to in Western Colorado. There are streams-o'-plenty, and excellent facilities.

Are you looking to get out of the valley, enjoy some peace and quiet, all on a budget and without racking up beaucoup miles on your vehicle? Set a course for the Wild Rose Picnic Area. Take a lunch, or don't, it doesn't matter. The views and streams alone make the trip worthwhile.