Things to do in Grand Junction in summer include Colorado River rafting, fishing on the Grand Mesa and boating at James M. Robb-Colorado River State Park.
Satisfy your need for speed on a jet-boating excursion in the state with Jet Boat Colorado, based in De Beque (25 minutes from Grand Junction), the first company in the state to offer jet-propelled boating experiences of this magnitude. The company’s Wild Mustang jet boat — also equipped with a 420-horsepower, fuel-injected engine — takes passengers on exhilarating Colorado River adventures featuring fishtails, speed runs and “cowboy spins.” Prefer a calmer ride? Jet Boat Colorado also offers scenic trips, which include interpretations of the area’s history, geology and lore.
Home to several popular rivers for rafting, Grand Junction is a haven for rapids-seekers. The Westwater Canyon stretch of the Colorado River offers Class III and IV rapids, some of which boast playful names like “Funnel Falls” and “Sock it to Me.” The popular run also has beautiful views of Precambrian rock formations and red-rock canyon country.
Other options include the Ruby-Horsethief Canyon section of the Colorado River, which has Class I and II rapids, and the Dolores River near Gateway, a rugged stretch of Class II to IV rapids. Hook up with a rafting outfitter like Rimrock Adventures or Adventure Bound River Expeditions, who help groups plan the perfect excursion. Learn more about rafting in Grand Junction >>
Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
The Colorado River accommodates paddlers of all abilities, whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned river surfer. Rent a SUP from Rimrock Adventures or Rapid Creek Cycles and Paddle Boards, and ask for recommendations on the best places to go. The section of the river that intersects with 32 Road is a locals’ favorite, as is near Corn Lake on the Colorado River, while the Grand Mesa National Forest’s 300 lakes are also magnificent for SUP.
Opportunities to bag epic catches abound in Grand Junction. Corn Lake at James M. Robb-Colorado River State Park is stocked with 25,000 rainbow trout in March, April and September, along with large numbers of black crappie and largemouth bass during the spring and fall. Fishing is also available at lakes in the state park’s Island Acres section.
Other lauded angling spots include Grand Mesa National Forest’s many lakes (try Cottonwood Lake, which offers easy drive-up access) and Mack Mesa Lake and Highline Lake at Highline Lake State Park.
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Warm summer days are best spent on the water, and there are plenty of places to launch your vessel in the Grand Junction area. Colorado River access is available via boat launches at Grand Junction’s Redlands Parkway, Loma (Ruby-Horsethief Canyon) and additional launches are available at James M. Robb-Colorado River State Park, where hand-propelled watercrafts and boats with electric trolling motors are allowed in nearly all of the park’s waters.
Ideal for all ages, float trips are a relaxing way to soak up the area’s spectacular landscapes. Glide on the Colorado River from Corn Lake to Las Colonias Park, which offers spectacular views; or rent a raft or SUP from Grand Junction Adventures to embark on a self-guided river tour.