We all love living in Colorado because it's a beautiful state. It has stayed that way, in part, due to the many areas under the protection of our federal and state governments. Nationally Protected Areas account for nearly 13% of the land area of the entire United States.

Did you know there are nine Nationally Protected Areas in Mesa County? Where are these protested areas, and just how large are they?

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What Is A Nationally Protected Area?

Nationally Protected Areas are designated lands or waters managed by the federal government, the state, tribal leaders, and local authorities. Some areas are managed as wilderness like Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area, while others include commercial operations such as Rocky Mountain National Park.

How Many Nationally Protected Areas Are In Colorado?

According to Colorado Newsline, Colorado offers varying protections to over 6,700,000 acres of land. That's just over 10% of the state. Colorado's Department of Natural Resources lists 95 protected areas:

  • National Parks: 23 areas
  • National Historic Sites: 3
  • National Recreation Areas: 2
  • National Historic Trails: 5
  • National Forests: 11
  • National Grasslands: 2
  • National Wilderness Areas: 44
  • National Conservation Areas: 3
  • National Wildlife Refuges: 8
  • National Heritage Areas: 3
  • National Historic Landmarks: 26
  • National Natural Landmarks: 16
  • National Recreation Trails: 28

Mesa County, Colorado Is Well Protected

Did you know we have nine Federally Protected Areas in Mesa County? These areas are protected by offices such as the National Parks Service, the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The best part about the protected areas in Mesa County is that residents have access to all of them, and several can be enjoyed at no cost. Keep going to check out all nine Nationally Protected Areas in Mesa County.

9 Protected Areas Colorado Loves to Enjoy in Mesa County

Mesa County, Colorado, is the 4th largest in the Centennial State. Colorado's Western Slope features the Grand Mesa, the Colorado National Monument, National Forests, and several National Conservation Areas. Check out all nine of Mesa County, Colorado's Nationally Protected areas in the photo gallery below.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

MORE: All 11 of Colorado's Beautiful National Forests Ranked Smallest to Largest

Colorado is home to 11 national forests that total more than 10,000,000 acres. Scroll through each of them in the photo gallery below ranked smallest to largest. We will include maps for each one so you can get out and explore.

Gallery Credit: Wes Adams

LOOK: The Top 4 National Parks in Colorado

The state of Colorado is home to four National Parks. They include Rocky Mountain National Park, the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. If you live in western Colorado then you also get to adopt the two National Parks close by in Utah. Scroll on to learn about all six in the gallery below.

Gallery Credit: Wes Adams

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