While hiking and biking are two of the most common ways to experience the unique beauty of Grand Junction’s epic natural landscapes, there are also a handful of off-road trails that are Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) and Jeep-friendly. These trails offer a one-of-a-kind experience, that allows people of all ages to see incredible sights, cover long distances and breach challenging terrain. If you’re ready for an adrenaline-fueled adventure, check out some of the best Colorado Jeep trails near Grand Junction.
Jeep Trails near Grand Junction
While the name “Jeep trail” can understandably seem like it refers to an off-road path just for Jeep-brand vehicles, it’s actually more of a general term referring to unpaved 4x4 roads that are accessible by high-clearance vehicles (like many Jeeps) and UTVs.
“Jeeping” has grown in popularity over the years, with many enjoying the ability to explore more remote areas, spot wildlife, and ultimately see more sights in a day.
Nestled between the majestic Book Cliffs and the breathtaking Colorado National Monument, Grand Junction offers stunning rugged desert landscapes, winding canyons, aspen and evergreen groves, and picturesque plateaus, making it the perfect location for your off-road adventure. Check out some of the local favorite Grand Junction Jeep trails.
Rattlesnake Arches Jeep Trail
Guests who are new to Grand Junction can take a motorized tour to the Rattlesnake Arches, the second-largest concentration of natural arches in the world. This Jeep trail offers views of some of Grand Junction’s most iconic natural landmarks. Spanning just over 10 miles from the intersection of Black Ridge Road and N 16 ½ Road to the trailhead, this route takes you to the jaw-dropping Rattlesnake Arches. Before turning onto Black Ridge Road, guests will be taken through the Colorado National Monument’s towering red sandstone cliffs, which is an experience in and of itself.
The natural arches are the trail’s main destination, and they are accessible by a rocky 4x4 high-clearance road. After reaching the trailhead, hike from the parking lot to see the Rattlesnake Canyon arches from the top and bottom. Don’t worry though, even if you stay behind the wheel, you’ll still get incredible views of the area from the vehicle. If you do not have 4x4 and high clearance, there are numerous places along the Lower and Upper Access Road to park for you to mountain bike, hike or OHV to the remaining distance to the trailhead. Click here for detailed directions to Rattlesnake Arches.
Difficulty level: Easy but requires 4x4 and high-clearance
Length: Just over 10 miles from the intersection of Black Ridge Road and N 16 ½ Road to the trailhead
Scenic Views: Red sandstone formations in the Colorado National Monument and views of the iconic arches of Rattlesnake Canyon.
Beginning just outside of Grand Junction, Monument Rocks is an easy Jeep trail that is accessible to SUVs, ATVs, and dirt bikes. The out-and-back excursion is an especially great option for wildlife enthusiasts as it passes through the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area, home to many types of wild horses, as well as mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, elk, and more.
After winding through the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area and climbing to the top of the Book Cliffs, the Jeep trail culminates at Monument Rocks, where you can feast your eyes on the massive red sandstone formations that Western Colorado is famous for. At this point on the trail, there are also places to stop for a rest or a picnic. The Monument Rocks motorized vehicle trail is open all year long, with the exception of bad weather days.
Difficulty level: Easy (requires 4x4 and high clearance)
Length: 27.1 miles out and back
Scenic Views: Canyons and rolling slopes in the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area, and the red sandstone rock formations of Monument Rocks.
Park Creek/ Salt Creek Loop
For those seeking a more elevated Jeep trail, the Park Creek/Salt Creek Loop offers steeper inclines, rocky volcanic terrain, and opportunities to cross streams. On top of that, this circular track takes riders up the back side of the world’s largest flat-top mountain, the Grand Mesa.
As the trail climbs, you can experience breathtaking scenery, as well as, local wildlife and vegetation. When you reach the top of the Grand Mesa, you’ll find even more to explore, like over 300 lakes, aspen and pine groves, expansive fields bursting with brightly colored wildflowers and panoramic vistas. Visitors should know that this trail goes through Vega State Park and therefore requires a Colorado State Parks Pass per vehicle.
Difficulty level: Moderate (due to rocky terrain and stream crossings)
Length: 18-mile loop
Scenic Views: Aspen groves on mount and descent, as well as lakes, lush fields and thick forests on the Grand Mesa.
Jeep Tours & Rentals in Grand Junction
If you don’t own a vehicle equipped for these adventurous trails, don’t worry. Grand Junction has several highly rated rental options as well as guided tours. Here are a couple of recommendations.
Adrenaline Driven Adventure Company
Grand Junction’s Adrenaline Driven Adventure Rentals & Tours is one of Colorado’s top off-road rental and tour providers. In addition to renting a range of UTVs, including dirt bikes and three-wheeled roadsters, the company also offers private guided destination Jeep and RZR tours of the Rattlesnake Arches and the Grand Mesa. Each tour is led by a professional guide which adds tremendous value to your excursion. You won’t get lost, they provide you with safety reinforcements, and you’ll learn so much more about the area, including secret spots along the way that adds value to your trip.
Funshares Sales and Rentals
If you’re looking to take on these Jeep trails yourself via OHV, motorcycle RZR, or quad, check out Funshares Sales and Rentals. They offer a variety of fuel-powered machines for you to rent. From four-seaters to two-seaters, OHV rentals are the perfect way to explore the Grand Junction area while enjoying some adrenaline-filled adventure.
For those looking for a self-guided excursion, Diff provides Jeep rentals at various locations across Colorado, including delivery to Grand Junction. With several well-maintained vehicles to choose from, including two-door and four-door Jeep Wranglers as well as the Ford Bronco Badlands Edition, Diff lets you explore the area’s off-road trails at your own pace and discover the exhilarating outdoors in and around Grand Junction. To reserve your Jeep rental and have it delivered to Grand Junction, call Diff at 970-399-5583.
More to discover in Grand Junction
Off-roading adventures are a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the contrasting landscapes of Grand Junction, Colorado by allowing you to travel further than on foot and providing a bit of extra adrenaline to make you feel like you have conquered something legendary. For more ideas to fill up your Grand Junction itinerary, check out 23 Things To Do In Grand Junction, Colorado in 2023 or check out the Official Grand Junction Visitor Guide.