Wondrous Grand Mesa
For those who have contemplated the rugged, snowcapped peaks of Grand Teton National Park, the waterfalls and granite walls of Yosemite National Park, or the contrast between ocean and burning lava of Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, Grand Mesa in western Colorado may not seem like the No. 1 national wonder in the United States.
Then again, it is the largest flat top mountain in the world. It’s 300-plus natural and man-made lakes, bordered by aspen and pine trees, make it a place of stunning beauty. Colorado Highway 65 provides easy access to large portions of the mesa, summer and winter.
Even so, there are trails to isolated spots on the mesa that offer spectacular scenery and wondrous solitude, places where you are as likely to see a moose or a black bear as another human.
Furthermore, none of the other attractions mentioned above — indeed, none of the other nine finalists in the AOL online poll, offers quite the diversity of activities as Grand Mesa. There’s skiing — both Nordic and alpine — hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, four-wheeling, camping, as well as private resorts.
We’re sticking with the local wonder in this case. Log on to http://news.travel.aol.com/explore-america/natural-wonders and cast your ballot. Grand Mesa was slightly ahead of Grand Teton when we voted Thursday afternoon.