Granby Road

Round Trip Distance: 9 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 9,935 - 10,293 feet
Cellphone: 0-1 bars
Time: 4 hrs.
Trailhead: Island Lake Area
Fee: none
Attractions: Multi-use trail

The Granby Road is a multi-use trail located in the Grand Mesa National Forest near Grand Junction, Colorado. The trail begins across from the  Island Lake Day Use Area and near the Island Lake Campground. where it travels west across the south facing slopes of the Grand Mesa. After passing more than a dozen reservoirs the trail comes to an end when it meets up with the Greenwood trail at Little Battlement Lake. The Granby Road is an important access route for hunting, fishing and anyone making use of the other trails in the area.

The Granby Road begins off of Forest Road #116 which is the road that loops around the backside of Island Lake. The only nearby parking is in a gravel overflow lot just outside of the Island Lake Day Use Area. There is also room for  2 or 3 vehicles to park about a quarter mile down the Granby Road but it takes a high clearance vehicle to reach that spot.

After a short descent as the trail leaves FR #116 it begins a gentle climb along the side of the mountain and passes the Island Lake Campground.

From there the trail continues through tall stands of spruce trees past a scenic lily pond and across a cattleguard that is around the 1 mile point.

The elevation of the trail fluctuates up and down as it traverses around the the south side of the mesa but overall the trend is downhill going in this direction. The round trip elevation gain is around 1,184 feet but the average grade is only 4% so much of it goes unnoticed.

The Scotland trail comes up around the 1.5 mile point and shortly past that is a spur that runs down to Granby Reservoir #1. (All total there are a dozen Granby reservoirs of various sizes.) At that point the dark forest of spruce begins to transition to brighter groves of aspen trees.

When the trail reaches Granby Reservoir #11 it follows a pleasant route along the shore where there are several nice primitive campsites. Fish can be seen jumping with nobody around to try and catch them.

Just around the corner near Granby Reservoir #12 is the private cabin of a cow camp.

The road works its way around Granby #12 where it offers a nice view of the reservoir before climbing away.

A short distance past that is Big Battlement Lake.

The Granby Road comes to an end at Little Battlement Lake where it crosses the dam and meets up with the Greenwood trail. There were several groups of people fishing the Battlement lakes out of which some had got there by coming down the Greenwood trail from Flowing Park while others had come the full length of the Granby Road. At 2.4 miles the Greenwood trail is shorter but the Granby Road passes more lakes.

Hikers can save a surprising amount of distance by leaving the road and cutting across the dams of several of the reservoirs. That works especially well at Big Battlement Lake where the road goes through a big waterhole beneath the dam. Anyone that is thinking about taking their truck or jeep over the Granby Road should know that it is very slow and tedious. It is rough enough that your kidneys will take a beating even with an ATV. We were originally going to mountain bike the trail but ended up hiking it instead and had no regrets at all for doing so. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.