Highline Lake State Park

Highline Lake State Park Nature

Highline Lake State Park Nature

Seven species of lizards and the wandering garter snake have been observed on uplands. Rocky Mountain toad, tiger salamander and leopard frog occupy more mesic or aquatic habitats. Mule deer are a common sight, as are cottontail rabbit, coyote, raccoon, striped skunk, muskrat and beaver.

Ecologically, park uplands are dominated by mat saltbush shrublands and saline bottomland shrublands. Mat saltbush shrubland is dominated by several lowgrowing or prostrate saltbush species, including mat and Gardner saltbush, shadscale and horsebrush. These shrubs tolerate high concentrations of sodium and sulfate contained in shale-derived soils. Saline bottomland shrublands are dominated by greasewood, rabbitbrush, four-wing saltbush, shadscale, salt-cedar, western wheatgrass, Indian ricegrass and needle-and-thread grass. Diverse wetland, riparian and aquatic plant communities are established around the reservoir and below both dams.


Drive west on I-70 west from Grand Junction to Loma Exit, then north onto Colorado Highway 139 for six miles to Q Road. Go west on Q road for 1.2 miles, then turn north onto 11.8 Road for one mile to the park entrance.