A closer look at Lone Mesa near the San Juan National Forest:
Description: The park is a sight to behold, but only for a select few: The general public is barred from visiting the 12,000-acre property due to "inventorying and stewardship of its unique and rare natural resources," according to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife brochure. Special permits are granted to big-game hunters through an annual lottery that takes place every July. Herds roam the terrain rising higher than 8,000 feet in elevation in this southwest pocket of the state, with glorious mountain vistas awaiting atop the mesa.
Activities: Hunting, horseback riding and off-highway vehicle riding allowed with special permit, volunteer projects, arranged research.
Wildlife: Elk, black bears, deer, turkey.
Fun fact: The park is known to store some of Colorado's rarer plants, including one that was discovered at the park and named after it.
Address: 1321 Railroad Ave., Dolores, 81323
Contact: 970-882-2213, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Closed to general public.
Directions: Head south on Interstate 25 and then exit at Walsenburg for U.S. 160 west. Follow to Colorado 184 west. Travel to Colorado 145 and then turn right and continue into Dolores. From town, take Forest Services Road 526 and then 514 to park.
SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE