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Grand Mesa

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Alex Scoville/CPR News
<p>The view from Skyview Point along the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway.</p>
Grand Mesa

It peaks at just 11,000 feet, but as the largest flat-topped mountain in the world, and it certainly lives up to its name: Grand Mesa. 

Broad and wide, Grand Mesa is capped by a layer of uneroded basalt that dates back to volcanic eruptions 10 million years ago. Rising tall over the dry high desert of Western Colorado, Grand Mesa is graced with hundreds of lakes and home to multitudes of trout, bears, cougars, moose, elk, deer and, according to Ute legend, Thunderbirds, whose mighty wings could whip up ferocious storms.

After a massive and deadly mudslide on Grand Mesa in 2014, one witness described a sound like a big clap of thunder. And on the western face of Grand Mesa, there’s a rock formation that does look like a thunderbird. A reminder that others have called GM by another name: “Thunder Mountain.”

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.