A look at Highline Lake near Fruita:
Description: Smackdab in the barren outskirts of Fruita is this vast body of water, attracting swimmers, anglers and every kind of boater across the valley. Boating opened this month, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife spreads this advice: Arrive early. For a less-frequented spot, check out nearby Mack Mesa Lake, reserved for nonmotorized craft. Off the water, the site recognized by the National Audubon Society is popular among birders. A handful of singletrack loops draw mountain bikers.
Activities: Water skiing, jet skiing, paddle boarding, sailing, hiking, biking, fishing, birding, camping, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, limited hunting
Wildlife: Mule deer, foxes, coyotes, prairie dogs, raccoons, beavers; bald and golden eagles, sandhill cranes, herons and pelicans; various lizards and frogs
Fun fact: The park hosts the annual 18 Hours of Fruita, an intense endurance mountain biking race for solo and team riders that is part of the Fruita Fat Tire Festival, which starts April 27.
Address: 1800 11.8 Road, Loma, 81524
Contact: 970-858-7208, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Day use closes at 10 p.m.
Directions: Take Interstate 25 north to Denver and then Interstate 70 west toward Grand Junction for about 245 miles. Exit north on Colorado 139 and continue for 6 miles before turning left on Q Road. After a mile, turn right on 11.8 Road and continue to park entrance.
SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE