Our plan was to do both sides of the Grand Mesa between Highway 65 and the Land's End Road switchbacks, and we started with Crater View. It wasn't as maintained as Land's End Road, so we were surprised to find motorhomes and other vehicles that were probably a little over their heads on that trail. Except for some strategic passing when we met them, we didn't see many people on the trail. We took Carson Lake out and back as a quick diversion.
We pulled over at the official Crater View area next to what used to be a sign for it. It's not a crater, so we weren't sure why it was called that. But the views were amazing as we looked down the mesa to the valley below.
There was a chipmunk that was very friendly and looking for food. We didn't feed it, of course. Some people drove by but no one else stopped, so we had it to ourselves. It was chilly and there wasn't much room, so we decided to push on for lunch at the end.
We could see towers at the northern end, but found that it was all private property (owned by CenturyLink). That was a bummer.
The old visitor center and the overlook there was amazing, though, and we hung out for a while there. We discovered that was where all of the overly friendly chipmunks hung out, because people were feeding them. It goes without saying that you shouldn't feed wild animals -- you're probably killing them by feeding them. Of course, there were people everywhere and everyone was trying to feed and pet the chipmunks. There were dogs barking and we watched a man helped his small son pee on the old, historical building, so it didn't take very long for us to be over the whole experience. We ate a quick lunch by our vehicles, out of sight of the masses and chipmunks.
We were going to head down the switchbacks, but we saw from the top that there was a race going on below us. There was a single traffic cone at the top in the middle of the road, but that was it for announcements and information. There wasn't any other traffic on the road, so we were out of luck. Instead, we took Land's End Road back to Highway 65.