3-Day Family Friendly Itinerary

Plan Your Next Family Vacation in Grand Junction!

Grand Junction and the surrounding area is full of unlimited activities and recreational opportunities perfect for a family getaway. Here is a three-day sampler to help you get started! Thanks to Grand Junction's temperate climate, it's possible to do many of your favorite activities all year round! 

Accommodations: Grand Junction offers plenty of affordable hotels, bed and breakfasts, and RV camps, many of which are along the free Dash route

Restaurants: There's no shortage of fun, trendy and family-friendly places to eat in Grand Junction. See all Restaurants and Dining options.

 

DAY 1

Morning        Breakfast on Colorado National Monument, Drive Tour, and Hike

Pick up breakfast items to take with you – Suggestion: Main Street Bagels

Colorado National Monument | Fruita, CO  81521 | 970-858-3617

Touted by Outside Magazine and USA Today as one of the top 10 best places for solitude in the U.S., the Monument features 11 canyons, 20,000 acres of arched windows, rock spires and natural monoliths - all thrown by the hands of wind and rain over millions of years.  Allow yourself 1.5 – 2.5 hours

Suggested Hikes:

Canyon Rim Trail Walk – Hike/Walk Canyon Rim Trail - 0.5 miles (0.8 km) one way. Level trail following the cliff edge above Wedding Canyon. Outstanding views make this a favorite for landscape and wildlife photography. Start at the Visitor Center or Bookcliffs Overlook.

Serpents Trail Hike – Called “the Crookedest Road in the World,” this historic trail has more than 50 switchbacks.  The trail climbs steadily from east to west.  Built in the early 1900s, this route was part of the main road until 1950.  Allow 2–3 hours for the hike.

Tip: Check out a backpack from the Colorado National Monument Visitor Center full of activities and tools to help your family explore the Monument in more depth. Kids can even be be a Junior Ranger and earn a certificate and badge!

                

Dinosaur Journey Museum

550 Jurassic Ct., Fruita, CO

970-858-7282

Learn the history of the dinosaurs in western Colorado and surrounding areas in this hands-on interactive museum with real fossils, cast skeletons, and robotic reconstructions of dinosaurs. Kids will enjoy uncovering actual Jurassic dinosaur bones in the "quarry site", shaking things up in the earthquake simulator, and watching paleontologists in the lab prepare bones for display. 

                                     

Lunch            Lunch Suggestion:

Café Sol             

420 Main Street, Grand Junction

970-986-3474

 

Afternoon      Mountain Biking - Lunch Loops Trail System

The area surrounding Grand Junction is rich with trails perfect for a day of single track bliss. With a trailhead practically in the town of Grand Junction, Lunch Loops is one of the best, most accessible recreation spots in Grand Junction. With a wide variety of trails ranging from easy to very difficult, there’s something for every level of mountain biker. Explore trails here.

 

Explore Downtown Grand Junction / Art on the Corner

Enjoy Grand Junction’s downtown district featuring a variety of unique gift shops, boutiques, antique stores, and Enstrom’s Candy, known for its world-famous almond toffee! Downtown is also home to Art on the Corner, a collection of over 100 outdoor sculptures. 

 

Dinner           Dinner Suggestion:

Edgewater Brewery                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

905 Struthers Ave., Grand Junction

970-243-3659       

       

                                                                           

DAY 2                                           

Breakfast       Breakfast Suggestion:

Dream Café

314 Main Street, Grand Junction

970-427-5353

 

Morning         Go Sledding at the Old Mesa Ski Hill

Grand Mesa                         

Lovingly called Old Powderhorn by locals, the Old Mesa Ski Hill was the original ski area on the Grand Mesa. After its chairlifts were moved to Powderhorn Mountain Resort it became a popular place for sledding. Head to the slopes armed with sleds, tubes, fuzzy mittens and hot chocolate and we promise the ear-to-ear smiles won’t stop all morning. 

Tip: Stop in at Blink! Coffee in the town of Mesa on the way for delicious homemade hot chocolate!

 

Lunch            Lunch Suggestion:

Palisade Cafe 11.0                                                                                                                                                                      

113 W. 3rd St., Palisade, CO

970-464-0657

 

Afternoon      Take a Carriage Ride with JR's Carriage Service

Take a ride through the enchanting streets of Downtown Grand Junction in a horse-drawn carriage. Two beautiful horses will pull you through Downtown, passing over 100 sculptures, all part of the award-winning Art on the Corner program. One of the largest outdoor displays in the country, Art on the Corner has been replicated in other cities across the country. There is no better way to take it all than snuggled up with your family enjoying a personal tour. 

Tip: Stop in at Main Street Bagels for hot chocolate. During the winter, Main Street Bagels is known for its ultimate hot chocolate, inspired by the book The Polar Express

Dinner           Dinner Suggestion:

Rockslide Restaurant & Brewery

401 Main Street, Grand Junction

970-245-2111

 

DAY 3

Breakfast       Breakfast Suggestion:                

Main Street Café

504 Main St., Grand Junction, CO

970-242-7225

 

Morning         Hit the Slopes at Powderhorn Mountain Resort

If “Mission Affordable” skiing and boarding gets your attention, you must visit Powderhorn Mountain Resort, just 45 minutes from Grand Junction. With 1,600 acres of terrain averaging 250 inches of powder — skiing, snowboarding and backcountry is at your beck and call.  With 20 percent beginner, 50 percent intermediate and 30 percent expert, it’s the perfect balance for you and your pals. Explore various terrain including two terrain parks, moguls, glades and boulder fields easily accessed on the high-speed quad. Private and group lessons are available and the Powderhorn Rental Shop offers equipment, accessory, and outerwear rentals on-site.

Tip: You can also rent skis and equipment from Board and Buckle, Summit Canyon Mountaineering, and REI.

 

Lunch            Lunch Suggestion:

Pablo’s Pizza

319 Main Street, Grand Junction (Downtown)

970-255-8879

 

Afternoon      Horseback Ride into the Little Bookcliffs Wild Horse Range

The Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range, located just eight miles northeast of Grand Junction, CO, is one of only three ranges in the United States specifically designated to protect and manage wild and free roaming horses on public lands. Approximately 80 to 130 wild horses roam the 36,000 acres of rugged canyons and plateaus which are covered in sagebrush and pinyon-juniper. Some of the wild horses in the Little Book Cliffs herd trace their ancestry back to Indian ponies that were introduced by the Spaniards in the 1500s, but most are descendants of horses that either escaped from or were turned loose by farmers or ranchers. Visitors can access the Little Bookcliffs Wild Horse Range with either a 4-wheel drive vehicle or by horseback. Rimrock Adventures offers guided horseback rides to see the wild horses; these trips typically last 2-4 hours, depending on the length of time it takes to encounter them. In addition to viewing wild horses, the ride also offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy beautiful scenery and the chance to see other desert wildlife.

 

Dinner           Dinner Suggestion:

Tacoparty

126 5th St., Grand Junction

970-314-9736

 

 Check out the Grand Junction Adventure Guide.