the colorado city we kind of want to keep a secret
Amazing hiking AND wineries (with cats). We’re not really sure why GJ hasn’t exploded as a Colorado hot-spot, but we’re OK with the less-trafficked experience this city offers.
When we tell people we’ve considered moving to Grand Junction, the most common response is, “Really? But why?” Admittedly there are parts of the city that need a little cleaning up, and maybe a little ‘getting with the times.’ But when we stumbled on this lesser known western Colorado town by accident, we were blown away by how much it has to offer. Hiking and mountain biking trails everywhere, not to mention it’s proximity to other adventure meccas. Drive south and you’ll hit Silverton and Telluride, Drive east towards Denver and you’ll be in some of the state’s most amazing mountain ranges. Drive west and you’ll hit Moab, UT in less than 2 hours. But admittedly our most favorite part of Grand Junction is that after your day of adventuring, you can take a quick drive to neighboring Palisade to explore it’s wineries.
Hiking AND Wineries
We’ve visited Colorado Cellars every time, and take the same picture every time. (Oh, not pictured? The lavender farm next door).
Colorado National Monument
Whether you want to take the scenic drive, or one of the many hiking trails, the CNM is a must.
It’s slowly expanding, but for now we love hanging out in the cute, slow-paced city center with unique restaurant and shopping options.
← I’ll just answer your first question here.
After that, I can’t pick a favorite. I love them all. For the wine itself, the scenery, and all the super friendly people who run them.
You can visit the VisitPalisade website for everything you need to know about each of the locations, including wine types and tasting room hours. Many of them are close enough (if you are brave enough) to bike between them. And most importantly, the vineyards with cats are Carlson and Avant.
I’m not sure if the people of Palisade get upset by being included in a post about Grand Junction, but the towns are just a 20 minute scenic drive apart. Palisade is a smaller town with big personality, also well known for its juicy peaches. But like GJ it also offers scenic bike trails, some hiking, and laid-back vibe. Together, these two cities offer the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation; perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation. Our in our case maybe even a future home-away-from-home.
GRAND JUNCTION HIKING
Colorado National Monument Recommendations:
- Devil’s Kitchen
- Monument Valley Trail
- Mica Mine
Sunset Viewpoint in the CNM:
- “Historic Trails View” off Rimrock drive
- We had a hard time attempting this – in early June we were swarmed with mosquitos. But we managed to get to Lost Lake, which was pretty. You can find others at GJHikes.
Outside of the CNM:
- McDonald Creek Trailhead in the McInnis Canyons area
- Horsethief Bench Loop (up to 15 miles)
There are plenty of other options for hiking, biking, rafting, paddling, and train spotting.