The Curecanti National Recreation Area is formed by three reservoirs on the Gunnison River. The national recreation area borders Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park on the west. Panoramic mesas, fjord-like reservoirs, and deep, steep and narrow canyons abound.
Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado's largest body of water. Created by Blue Mesa Dam, Blue Mesa Reservoir is 20 miles long, has 96 miles of shoreline, and is the largest Lake Trout and Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States. Blue Mesa Dam was completed in 1966, becoming the first large dam built along the Gunnison River. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison begins below Blue Mesa Dam.
Morrow Point is 12 miles below Blue Mesa Dam. Morrow Point Dam was completed in 1967 creating narrow Morrow Point Reservoir. While the primary purpose of Blue Mesa Dam is to store water, the primary function of Morrow Point Dam is to produce hydroelectricity. It has about twice the power capacity of Blue Mesa Dam.
Crystal Dam is a double curvature thin arch dam located six miles downstream from Morrow Point Dam. Crystal Dam is the newest of the three dams in Curecanti; construction on the dam was finished in 1976, forming Crystal Reservoir. Below Crystal Dam is the East Portal of the Gunnison Tunnel, a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Just below East Portal is the eastern boundary of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.