OverviewLeon Peak is the highest Point in Mesa Couny, Colorado, though it is not the highest point on Grand Mesa (Crater Peak holds this distinction by 91 feet, and has 2,307' of prominence). Most visitors to the area are present for the fishing and camping opportunities, oblivious to Leon Peak or its county significance, much less what a county highpoint is. The initial hiking is easy, and gradually talus is dominated by larger boulders. Some really light scrambling is involved on the final slope. For additional perspective, see listsofjohn.com/Counties/COCounty/MESA.html. There is a relatively well-preserved early 20th century abandoned fire lookout on the summit. Frequent lightning strikes were said to have discouraged attendance.
Getting ThereFrom I-70 exit 49, east of Grand Junction, head east 34 miles to FR 121. Head east 8 miles and east on FR126 3 miles to the Weir and Johnson Campground. Take the Leon Lake Trail 717 on foot which runs parallel to the west side of Weir and Johnson Reservoir.
Red TapeCamping is not open except dates July 4 through September 8, and at other times parking at the end of the road without a fee is accepted.
When To ClimbAccess is best from Late May to October depending on the snowfall. A lot of snow was still present on the trail in mid-June 2004, requiring gaiters.
CampingCamping is available in several areas, including the Weir & Johnson campground which is near the trailhead. Campgrounds are open July 4 through September 8. $10 per day fee applies. See http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/rockymtn/gmsacmp.htm
Mountain ConditionsContact the local forest ranger for conditions: 970-242-8211 or visit: www.forestcamping.com/dow/rockymtn/gmsainfo.htm