Sunrise at Colorado National Monument

Travel writer, Jacqueline Kehoe said: "The clock is ticking on Grand Junction — at some point, tourists will realize just how easy it is to get to this city, which is about four hours from Denver.

Grand Junction is home to three backyard attractions, dubbed "Nature's Trifecta," which are doppelgängers for national parks.

Colorado National Monument offers views akin to Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Mesa is a 500-square-mile lake-filled playground, and Rattlesnake Arches features the second-highest concentration of natural arches in the world after Arches National Park.

On recent hikes to all three places, I only came across about a dozen people in total.

Toss in the city's art-forward, walkable downtown — about 30 minutes from Colorado National Monument — and delicious spots like Bin 707 Foodbar and Cafe Sol, and this one feels like a no-brainer."


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