Note: We are still exploring other possible sites for th 2023 quest. As soon as a decision is made we will udate this page.
The Uncompahgre Plateau supports a wide variety of plants.
Between 6,000 to 7,500 feet in elevation, pinon pine and juniper are predominant along with sagebrush, cacti, saltbushes, western wheatgrass, and more.
Above 7,500 feet, oak and ponderosa pine become more prevalent. You can also see mountain mahogany, mountain big sagebrush, snowberry, and bluegrass. On the northwest side of the Plateau, manzanita is also common shrub.
Above 8,000 feet, the mountain shrub/Gambel oak and pine/oak communities transition into aspen and spruce/fir forests and open meadows.
Prominent wildlife species on the Plateau include mule deer, elk, desert bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, black bear, mountain lions, Merriam’s turkeys, peregrine falcons, golden eagles, sage grouse, cutthroat trout, midget faded rattlesnakes and a wide variety of other species. Federally threatened or endangered species include the bald eagle, the Mexican spotted owl, blackfooted ferret, Canada lynx and cross-fostered whooping crane.
The Plateau overlooks Dominguez Canyon Wilderness, a 66,280-acre expanse located in the heart of the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area, replete with sandstone canyons and pinyon-juniper—covered mesas. Year round creeks create ideal habitat for many birds, large mammals and reptiles.
Cultural resources such as petroglyphs and wickiups attest to the thousands of years that Native Americans used the area for hunting, shelter and as a travel corridor from the Gunnison River Valley to the Uncompahgre Plateau.
We will be camped on the Plateau. We will have access to views of the canyon and perhaps opportunity to hike down into the canyon.