Adventure in Grand Junction, and Leave Your Gear at Home

Whether you want to explore trails on two wheels, see scenic vistas from horseback, conquer slot canyons and lemon squeezers or float down the mighty Colorado River, adventuring can require quite a bit of equipment, not to mention the technical experience. Lucky for you, Grand Junction is home to expert outfitters who have plenty of both – the gear and the know-how.

Become a Canyoneer 

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Climb towering 500-foot multi-pitch climbs like the iconic Independence Monument or learn to set up ropes and safety gear in slot canyons with Summit Ridge Guides. As technical mountain guides, the folks at Summit Ridge Guides know every foothold and surface crack which makes for the perfect introduction to climbing.

Their half-day introduction to canyoneering in Colorado National Monument is ideal for people who have never climbed before but are looking to get started. Learn how to squeeze through narrow slot canyons, set up anchors, and repel down the side of red sandstone cliffs. 

If you're looking for more of a challenge, climb Independence Monument. This massive, 450-foot rock formation is one of the most famous in the Colorado National Monument. John Otto initially climbed it in 1911. Otto summited Independence Monument every year on the Fourth of July, and today you can follow in his footsteps. Literally. Footsteps John carved into the sandstone are still there and used as part of the climbing route. John wanted this climb to be doable for anyone wanting to summit; however, we do recommend a guide if you are not experienced.

In addition to the epic sandstone climbing in the Monument, Unaweep Canyon is full of some of the best big granite climbing outside Yosemite Valley. 

Float the Colorado River

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The section of the Colorado River that runs through Grand Junction is wide and flat, without much in the way of white water rapids. This provides the ideal place to get familiar with stand up paddleboarding. If you’ve paddle boarded on a lake before, you might assume that it’s much harder on a river, but it’s actually not. The water carries you, which allows less effort on your part and more time to take in the scenery. Spend a day with Grand Junction Stand Up Paddle learning how to master flows, including how to cross over from one side of the river to the other efficiently. The all-day class starts on calm lake waters to get you acquainted with stand up paddling and once you've built up some confidence, head out on the river and work on skills like crossing currents, turning in eddies, and running rapids.  All you need is sunscreen and a smile, and Grand Junction Stand Up Paddle will take care of the rest.

Explore Canyons from horseback.

Saddle up with Rimrock Adventures for a horseback ride through McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. From their base location in Fruita, hundreds of miles of trails in McInnis Canyons can be found right across the street. Try Devil’s Canyon or Pollock Bench for astonishingly scenic rides.

Rimrock Adventures will provide the horses, saddles, and everything else you need to ride. They will also transport them to the trailhead for you and accompany your group for a scenic tour. As area experts, they know the best trails to follow for the best chance of seeing horses, on top of a plethora of fun and interesting facts about the area.

Learn to Dominate Trails on a Mountain Bike 

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For either guided mountain bike rides or for lessons to work specifically on new skill sets, Boneshaker Adventures will increase your confidence on a mountain bike. Take a guided journey with a local expert showing you how to connect the best trails together for one epically good time. No one knows the trails like the crew at Bone Shaker Adventures, they even helped build many of the local favorites. Depending on where you want to ride, either in the Grand Junction area, Fruita, or the Kokopelli System in Loma, their guides will build a ride for you ranging anywhere from two to six hours. Bone Shaker Adventures will work with you, through a personal or group lesion, to hone in on what you’re already feeling comfortable with, and what you would like to improve on to create a lesson plan and choose trails to help you achieve your goals. Learn how to ride over rocky technical Slickrock features or boost your speed on fast and flowy mountain downhill trails to feel more confident on your next ride.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to start learning a new sport, experience something different one time, or are traveling and don’t have equipment with you. Local outfitters have you covered and will make sure you have an unforgettable time in Colorado’s beautiful Grand Junction.

Find more ways to get outside and explore on page 28 of the Grand Junction Adventure Guide.