It’s no surprise that people naturally social distance in Grand Junction, especially 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.
Snowsports 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 at the same time. Winter around here is a two-season sport.
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 Grand Junction! 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 a sense of adventure. Trails like Devil’s Kitchen and Coke Ovens are great options for a shorter hike, while Monument Canyon 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
Even though the snow covers the trails on the Grand Mesa, the largest flat-top mountain in the world, that doesn’t mean you have to stop pedaling. The Mesa is the perfect place to break out fat bikes, especially if you haven't tried it before. 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 year-round single-track that Colorado has to offer. 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 Bicycle Outfitters 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. Tiara Rado Golf Course is a local favorite because of its panoramic views of the Colorado National Monument and the Grand Mesa. Just minutes from Downtown Grand Junction, regulars often comment about the pristine greens, new and immaculate carts, relaxing clubhouse, and friendly staff. Redlands Mesa Golf Course also has breathtaking views of the Colorado National Monument and is accompanied by rolling terrain on a challenging course. This course is so epic, Golfweek has ranked it 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.
The holiday season is full of joy and positivity, but one of the most fulfilling things about this time of year is the spirit of gift-giving. Downtown Grand Junction is lined door-to-door with boutique shops, and many decorate their windows for the season. From authentic antiques, boutique clothing, outdoor gear, gourmet food, and entertaining essentials - the variety makes the shopping as enjoyable as the giving. While strolling Main Street, check out over 115 outdoor sculptures that line the wide sidewalks on your way from store to store. Looking for stocking stuffers? Stop into Enstrom’s Candies to get a box of their famous toffee. It’s so addicting, John Mayer wrote a song about it.
Discover the Second Largest Concentration of Arches
Grand Junction is filled with many natural wonders - including the largest concentration of arches outside of Arches National Park. Rattlesnake Arches hike is perfect this time of the year because of the cooler temperatures. You can drive a 4-wheel high clearance vehicle to the trailhead, which puts you at just one-half mile from the largest and most famous arch. For those who prefer someone else to take them to the trail, Adrenaline Driven Adventure Rentals & Tours offers a thrilling guided tour complete with fun and knowledgeable guides. If you want to really get your steps in, here are a couple of ways to hike into Rattlesnake Arches; just be sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, and layers of clothing.
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 are 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. The tree skiing is known as some of the best in Colorado. 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! Temperate year-round weather, majestic views, and affordable lodging make Grand Junction a must-see destination to get out and recreate with nature. Life happens here!
Find more ways to explore Grand Junction this winter on page 28 of the Official Grand Junction Visitor Guide.