It’s no surprise that locals say that they naturally social distance in Grand Junction, when you realize that 76 percent of the Grand Junction area is designated public land. The outdoor recreation activities are as diverse as they are unspoiled.
Snow sports like skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing, are just around the corner, but did you know that you can golf, hike and bike year-round in Grand Junction? Discover an affordable and convenient Colorado destination that offers classic winter and warm-weather activities - we are talking about right now!
Hike Colorado National Monument – The National Park You’ve Never Heard Of
Winter hiking in Colorado usually means bundling up layers of puffy jackets, fuzzy hats, and clunky boots, but not in GJ! Colorado National Monument offers a quiet escape where all you’ll need are your favorite pair of sneakers or hiking boots, a light jacket, and your sense of adventure. Trails like Devil’s Kitchen, and Coke Ovens are great options for a shorter hike, while No Thoroughfare and Liberty Cap trails will keep you out and about for a longer excursion — see a full list of scenic hikes here.
Fat Bike the Snow, Mountain Bike the Dirt
Just because snow covers the trails doesn’t mean you have to stop pedaling - the Grand Mesa is the perfect place to break out fat bikes. If you’re looking for a reprieve from the frosty temperatures, head out to Lunch Loops, Fruita’s 18 Road or Loma’s Kokopelli trail system. Spin your wheels in the dirt and enjoy some of the best single-track Colorado has to offer year-round. There is a wide variety of terrain ranging from mild to advanced, with plenty of room to spread out from other riders. For bike rentals near Grand Junction, visit Colorado Backcountry Biker or Colorado Electric Bikes.
Choose from Four Scenic Public Golf Courses
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you can’t tee off. Grand Junction boasts four year-round courses to enjoy beer, birdies, and sunshine. The Redlands Mesa Golf Course has breathtaking views of the Colorado National Monument accompanied by rolling terrain and fresh mountain air. This course is so epic, Golfweek has ranked the course as the #1 golf course in Colorado. Need we say more? A high-end pro shop, restaurant, and après golf deck with breathtaking views of majestic cliffs offer the upscale amenities you would expect from a premier golf course.
Snowshoe and Cross-country Ski on the World’s Largest Flat-Top Mountain
If you haven’t cross-country skied Grand Mesa, then you’re missing out. Skiing across the world’s largest flat-top mountain offers spectacular panoramic views, 300 frozen lakes, dense pine forests, and peaceful Aspen groves. The high elevation of the Mesa provides for one of the longest ski seasons in the U.S. The nationally known Grand Mesa Nordic Council professionally grooms 31 miles of Nordic ski trails on the Mesa and also maintains a warming hut. On average, 300 inches of snow fall per year, providing for quality classic and skate ski trails, including marked trails for ski touring.
Snowshoers are fortunate to be able to use these same trails; however, they are encouraged to trek on either side of the groomed trails. Wander off on the ungroomed West Bench Trail for a cross-country trek through aspens and spruce, and amazing views of the Powderhorn Ski Area. If you need to rent skis or other gear, visit Board & Buckle or REI in Grand Junction.
Ski & Snowboard at Powderhorn Mountain Resort
If “Mission Affordable” skiing and boarding gets your attention, you must visit Powderhorn Mountain Resort, just 45 minutes east of 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.
Now that you’re equipped with a variety of adventures, start planning your trip today so you have something to look forward to! Temperate year-round weather, majestic views, and affordable lodging make Grand Junction a must-see destination to get out and recreate with nature!
Find more ways to explore Grand Junction this winter on page 28 of the Official Grand Junction Visitor Guide.