Craving a weekend away with a few of your closest girlfriends? With boundless outdoor adventures, from hiking to stand-up paddleboarding, plenty of fun ways to bond (wine tasting, anyone?), and an excellent restaurant scene, Grand Junction is the perfect place for a gals getaway. Whether you and your besties like to stay active, unwind with an adult beverage (or three!), or do a little bit of everything, this Western Slope town has you covered. Here are a few of the best ways to enjoy the region with you and your crew.
1. Hiking, Biking, Skiing, and More
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There are plenty of options for exploring the outdoors in and around Grand Junction. Colorado National Monument, the Grand Mesa, and McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area have plethora of trails of varying distances for both beginning and experienced hikers, while the One Riverfront Trail System is a flat, paved, 60-mile (round-trip) path that includes five distinct sections and is home to more than 200 species of birds. It’s perfect for an easy stroll after dinner or a leisurely bike ride.
For a more challenging excursion, try the Lunch Loop Trail System. There are several options for bikers looking for technically challenging rides, and it’s a popular local spot. In nearby Fruita, the 18 Road Trails Area has a handful of moderate to difficult routes and the 9.3-mile Mary’s Loop Trail in Kokopelli trail spurs off into many area classics.
Only 45 minutes away from Grand Junction, Powderhorn Mountain Resort offers more than 1,600 acres of skiable terrain in the winter and mountain biking and hiking in the summer. The Grand Mesa has groomed cross-country skiing—not to mention magnificent views of the valley in the distance and Powderhorn Resort below, beckoning with the perfect backdrop for a group selfie. Many trails in the area are multi-use and fun to explore on horseback, and you can find several local outfitters for guided horseback trips.
For some serious thrills on the river—and an adventure you’ll be reminiscing over for years to come—grab a paddle and try whitewater rafting down the mighty Colorado River or through the section known as Westwater Canyon. For a more leisurely excursion, you can also access the Colorado River at James M. Robb State Park in Fruita or try stand-up paddleboarding on the lake in Highline State Park.
2. Raise a Glass: Grand Junction Wineries and Breweries
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The Western Slope is a fertile agricultural area known for producing a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as a booming wine region and a growing craft-brewery scene. You’ll find the highest concentration of wineries in Colorado here, with more than 20 in the region. Each offers something different, and most tasting rooms feature breathtaking views of the gorgeous scenery.
If beer is more your speed, choose from several breweries in the area, many of which incorporate local flavors when possible. Sip a cold pint on the patio at Edgewater Brewery, or enjoy live music at Palisade Brewing Company. Rockslide Brewery has been serving up local suds since 1994 and has two (that’s right) happy hours, one from 3-6 p.m. and again late night, from 10 p.m.-12 a.m, which offers some nice flexibility for whatever your itinerary may need.
Try a small-batch bourbon or signature cocktail during a tasting tour at Highlands Distillery or Peach Street Distillers, or plan your trip around one of the many special events and festivals. Another option is to rent bicycles and hit the Fruit and Wine Byway, a fun way to see some of the Western Slope’s finest orchards and vineyards on a girls' weekend.
3. Explore Downtown
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Take some time to peruse the unique shops in downtown Grand Junction, ranging from antiques to candy to wellness options. Unwind and relax with a massage, or get ready for a night on the town with a manicure or pedicure at one of the spas and salons.
There are also fun ways to make a special souvenir to remember your weekend. The Craft Studio & Yarn Shop has a knit night every Monday, while Fat Cat Pottery offers several workshops throughout the month. At the Funky Junk DIY Studio, all you need to do is sign up during open studio time, and they’ll provide all the supplies (and any help you need) to make your Pinterest dream come true.
Got a history buff in the bunch? Be sure to stop by the Museum of the West near downtown Grand Junction. It highlights a thousand of years of regional history that you can explore through fascinating exhibits that include an authentic stagecoach and even a saloon. Special rotating exhibits are on hand, too, as well as history-focused events like Cowboy Poetry night.
4. Dining Out in Grand Junction
One of the best parts of a girls' weekend? Bonding with your pals over some seriously good food. With a full spread of dining options, Grand Junction delivers no matter what you’re in the mood for: casual pub grub after an active day outside or a more upscale meal where you can linger as long as you like. Pick up a pie at Pablo’s Pizza, a locals’ favorite, or get your early afternoon brunch on at the Ale House. Have Taco Tuesday any day of the week at MX Tapas Bar and Restaurante, where you'll find an innovative menu of tacos incorporating local ingredients. Don’t forget dessert at Gelato Junction or Yogo Mojo, or pick up a few sweet treats at Candy Time Shoppe and Novelties or Enstrom Candies.
Grand Junction has plenty of options for places to stay on your gals getaway: B&Bs, chain hotels, motels, and more. Explore all of our affordable lodging options or pick up an Official Visitor Guide for more information. All that’s left to do is pack your suitcases, grab your girlfriends, and get ready for an unforgettable weekend getaway in Grand Junction.
Guys, no need to worry, we've got you covered too. Check out our guide to a Guys Trip in Grand Junction. Gals we know ya'll are looking to destress behind a powerful, dirt-flinging RZR, so we encourage you to mix it up and swap activities to make your own special weekend.
Written by Abbie Mood for Matcha in partnership with Visit Grand Junction.