Grand Junction is surrounded by majestic beauty that is unique to Colorado and is famous for the one and only, Nature's Trifecta, which is a combination of three contrasting and unique geographical landscapes that can't be found anywhere else in the world! They include Colorado National Monument, known as the mini Grand Canyon; the Grand Mesa, the largest flat-top mountain in the world with over 300 lakes; and Rattlesnake Arches, the second-most natural arches in the world. Grand Junction is proof that nature really does play favorites!
Colorado National Monument
Just 10 minutes from Downtown Grand Junction stands the Colorado National Monument. As part of the National Park System, Colorado National Monument is often referred to as a mini-Grand Canyon. Discover over 43 miles of hiking trails and scenic overlooks and vistas – all without the crowds. For a truly surprising experience, stop at the Upper Ute Canyon View, walk to the left of the "mummy" and yell “cowabunga.” We promise you will not be disappointed. The Colorado National Monument offers 25 hiking trails that can be enjoyed year-round (8 easy, 15 moderate, and 2 difficult trails), as well as camping. For a truly unique experience, reserve a campsite during the winter and wake up to a striking contrast of white snow against the red rock. Stargazing during the winter season provides the clearest views of the milky way.
The Grand Mesa is the largest flat-top mountain in the world bursting with over 300 pristine alpine lakes and is only a short 45-minute drive from Grand Junction. Make Grand Junction your home base and discover four seasons of outdoor pursuits on the Grand Mesa. Hike among the wildflowers in the spring with waterfalls cascading down the steep cliffs. Powderhorn Mountain Resort’s downhill mountain biking trails during the summer provide easy access to the top from the high-speed chairlift. While you can fish year-round on the Grand Mesa, fall is one of the best times to cast a line. The Grand Mesa is transformed into a powder wonderland in the winter, with almost every snow sport that exists. For more information on the Grand Mesa, check out page 15.
Colorado has arches! Rattlesnake Arches is the second-largest concentration of natural arches in the United States and is located at Rattlesnake Canyon in McInnis National Conservation Area. With 35 natural arches all within a mile of each other, there are two ways to access them. The first is a 15.5-mile roundtrip hike on the Pollock Bench trail and the second is a shorter route on the Upper Trailhead from Glade Park, which is the recommended route. However, the second route does require a 4-wheel drive and high clearance vehicle so plan accordingly. For detailed directions to Rattlesnake Arches, click here. If you’re looking to stay overnight in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, you can reserve campsites at Recreation.gov. There are also first-come first-served spots available separate from the reservations.
For more ways to experience Grand Junction, check out the Official Grand Junction Visitor Guide.