GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.—September 13, 2017—There is no better way to learn something new than to experience it first-hand. In Grand Junction, the opportunities to take up a new sport, start your neurons churning or sample the simple life are endless. Here are a few of the hands-on activities you can enjoy this summer — and one for the winter, too.
Take up a new sport
There’s no better place to enjoy the outdoors than Colorado. From biking, hiking and rafting in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter, all are popular pastimes. However, there’s always room for one more. In Grand Junction, learning a new sport is easy, whether you prefer conquering cracks or chasing little white balls.
Rock Climbing - Grand Junction is nestled between the alpine peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the countless monoliths and canyons of the Colorado Plateau, making it a stellar location for experienced and first-time rock climbers. Outfitters offer climbing classes that teach the basics of rock climbing and rappelling while developing safety practices and learning equipment care as well as guided day climbs and multi-day guided trips for the more experienced climbers. For more information, contact Colorado Alpine & Desert Adventures.
Horseback Ride to Wild Horses - Grand Junction offers a different type of riding, no bike or snowboard required for this Colorado adventure. Between 80 and 120 wild horses roam the hills of the Little Bookcliffs Wild Horse Area, which encompass a little more than 30,000 acres in the Colorado canyons and plateaus of the Bookcliffs north of Grand Junction. A half-day or evening horseback ride tour into the wild horses gives you the opportunity to get an up close glimpse of these majestic denizens of the area. To book, contact RimRock Adventures.
Golf - For those who enjoy their sports in sets of nine, Grand Junction offers five public golf courses for visitors to choose from on their list of “fall fives,” including The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa, whose course was just listed as the Best Public Course in Colorado 2017 by GolfWeek. To combine a round with a view, nearby Tiara Rado Golf Course invites golfers to swing alongside animals including deer and herons on yards of green set against the grandeur of the Colorado National Monument. Another scenic option is Chipeta Golf Course where flat terrain presents broad vistas of Grand Mesa, Bookcliffs, Uncompahgre Plateau and the Colorado National Monument. For those who want a shorter day, there are also several of nine-hole courses in the area: the intimate, tree-lined public course of Lincoln Park Golf Course and the three nine-hole course at Adobe Creek National Golf Course.
Ski Patrol Ski Along - There are few people who know a ski resort better than its patrollers. To get an inside look at life on the mountain, as well as learning some of the tools of the trade such as safety, transporting and caring for guests on the mountain, Powderhorn offers the opportunity to ride along with a ski patroller. With the “Ski Patrol Ski Along” program at Powderhorn Mountain Resort, patrollers serve as a local guide to educate guests of all ages about the roles of ski patrol and their importance to the resort as well as becoming a mentor to others. It’s also a chance to gain knowledge for those interested in working in the ski industry.
Agritourism teaches about farm living
In the midst of the gorgeous vistas of Grand Junction, there is also the opportunity to learn about true farm living. The Museum of Western Colorado is a go-to source for sampling western Colorado’s agricultural past with historic farm tours. Costumed interpreters at the region’s Cross Orchards Historic Site guide visitors back in time through scenic grounds and historic buildings. Its barn/packing shed and bunkhouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If your timing is right, everyone scores a cookie fresh from the bunkhouse woodstove.
Tour a Peach Orchard - Known as the Peach Capital of Colorado, Palisade and beyond into the Grand Junction area also produces a delicious bounty of apples, apricots, cherries, pears, plums, melons, chili peppers, heirloom tomatoes and herbs. Fresh produce and packaged fruit products are abundant at roadside stands and orchards, but to get a real taste of what goes into this fresh experience, take a tour. Palisade’s agricultural businesses offer lessons on the growing process with your “pick” of tours from orchards and farms to vineyards. Be sure to ask if the farm is a “you-pick-it” farm. Find individual tour details at http://www.visitgrandjunction.com/orchards
Hands on experience, not just for kids
While Grand Junction has plenty of opportunities for adults to get down and dirty, there’s no reason to leave the kids behind.
Wild West and Dinosaur Digs - For a glimpse of life before humans, visit Grand Junction’s Museum of Western Colorado, the largest multi-disciplinary museum between Salt Lake City and Denver to engage with its dinosaur expeditions, extensive educational programming and historic and cultural trips and tours. For a dino fix, kids can dig for bones and search for tracks in the 150-million-year-old badlands of the Morrison Formation. One-day “101” sessions include transportation between Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita and the quarry, field instruction and Paleo lab tour.
Science is Cool - Another great option is the John McConnell Math and Science Center of Western Colorado. Integrating hands-on experiences that kindle and maintain student enthusiasm, this center is evolving into a world-class learning facility. It’s packed with intriguing interactive displays and exhibits that encourage kids to explore and question what they’re discovering. Among its top learning options are exhibit bingo and exhibit scavenger hunts; it also offers a resource library and self-contained kits for classroom use.
From sports to science to picking the perfect peach, there are tons of opportunities to get your hands dirty in Grand Junction. Choose your passion and see what Grand Junction has to offer.
About Grand Junction (www.visitgrandjunction.com) - Grand Junction is the largest city in Western Colorado, located at the junction of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers, between Salt Lake City and Denver on Interstate 70. At an altitude of 4,586 feet, warm summers and moderate spring, fall and winter seasons allow for incredible year-round outdoor recreation opportunities. Among Grand Junction's spectacular red cliffs and winding canyons are the 11,000-foot Grand Mesa and the breathtaking 7,000-foot Colorado National Monument. Surrounded by an abundance of public lands, Grand Junction is also a mecca for hunting, fishing, dirt bike and ATV riding. Other attractions include three national scenic byways, rafting, boating, golfing skiing, extensive public art displays, museums, and a vibrant downtown featuring creative culinary options, shopping, Two Rivers Convention Center and the Avalon Theatre. Grand Junction is known as Colorado’s Wine Country featuring 23 wineries nearby. The Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau is a department of the City of Grand Junction and is the official Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for the region.