Explore the Grand Valley, Colorado’s Outdoor Capital

Experience Seven Adventures in One Day in Grand Junction, Palisade & Fruita

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (January 24, 2018) – Located just a few hours west of Denver, Colorado’s Grand Valley sits amid one of the most beautiful outdoor playgrounds in the country. Comprised of Grand Junction, Palisade and Fruita, the landscape here is dramatically different from anywhere else in the state, surrounded by rivers, canyons, mesas and mountains to explore, there’s no shortage of adventures to experience. Hike the Colorado National Monument, ski the world’s largest flat top mountain, bike 1,500-plus miles of singletrack, explore nearly 3,000 square miles of mostly public lands, tee off at award-winning golf courses, climb more than 150 routes, and recreate on the storied Colorado River, all in one day. And, when the sun sets, visitors can sip locally crafted libations at one of 23 area wineries, breweries or distilleries, dine at nationally recognized restaurants, shop at charming boutiques and enjoy exciting nightlife and arts and cultural programming.  Below is a sample of how outdoor enthusiasts can participate in seven adventures in one day. For more information, visit www.outdoorcapitalco.com

Seven Grand Day Adventures in One Day - #GrandDayCO

Downhill & Nordic Skiing: When the Grand Mesa’s alpine high-country disappears beneath the snow, the area’s winter recreation fun kicks into gear. The 10,000-foot-high mountain east of Grand Junction features a family-style ski and snowboard area, Powderhorn Mountain Resort, with terrain to please everyone from beginners to experts.  Elsewhere on the Grand Mesa, experience snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.  The Grand Mesa Nordic Council grooms and maintains 50 km (31 miles) of ski trails on the Skyway, County Line, and Ward trail systems on the Grand Mesa. GMNC’s trail systems include world class skate/classic ski trails as well as marked trails for ski touring.

What’s New? Powderhorn Resort opened a lift serviced downhill mountain bike park in 2016 featuring multiple trails for all skill levels, including those new to the sport as well as the most experienced riders. Their newest trail is the green Mutton Buster, perfect for families.

Cycling: The Grand Junction area is a cycling hotspot. Serious cyclists can test their mettle on two of Colorado’s most difficult alpine climbs, the Grand Mesa and the Colorado National Monument, while casual riders spin out the miles on the One Riverfront trail that follows the Colorado River. Cyclists can explore the vineyard and orchards of East Orchard Mesa and Palisade, or the rolling farmlands north towards Fruita. The marquee cycling route is Rim Rock Drive over the Colorado National Monument, which plays host to the annual Tour of the Moon, a bucket list ride for many cyclists.

What’s New? Debuting this spring 2018, the new Kokopelli segment of the One Riverfront trail will extend the trail from Fruita to the Kokopelli Trails area in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. The Kokopelli Trails area is a destination for mountain bikers, hikers, equestrian users, and trail runners, and it connects to Moab, Utah via the Kokopelli Trail. Serving the entire Grand Valley, the nearly 30-mile long One Riverfront trail is a regional trail system extending from Palisade through Grand Junction, to Fruita in the west.

Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Riding:  Nearly 75 percent of the land in Mesa County is public land, equating to nearly 1.8 million acres, with much of that area open to mixed use which includes OHV travel: ATV, Jeep and motorcycle. Bangs Canyon and Rabbit Valley Recreation Area are both great destinations for a day of off roading fun.

Mountain Biking: The Grand Valley is one of the top mountain biking destinations in Colorado. For lovers of singletrack, there are miles and miles of it, from fun flow fests to super-techy challenges, lung busting climbs to white-knuckle descents, and from hour-long spins to all-day epics. One of the most famous rides is the Tabeguache trailhead, better known as the Lunch Loops. Right outside of town, the trails were named by locals that could bust out of work and get a quick ride in during lunch. Trails range from beginner to full-on black diamond, downhill-only, and everything in between.

While nearby Moab gets a lot of attention, Fruita offers similar backcountry terrain and breathtaking scenery but without all the crowds. Here, the Kokopelli’s Trail gets all the headlines, and for good reason. Its 140 miles of singletrack, dirt roads and OHV trails stretch from Fruita to Moab, and offer a variety of challenges, ranging from long coasts down the backside of a ridge, to truly grueling uphill climbs. Over the course of three to five days (the typical trip duration), bikers will experience it all.

What’s New? Imagine riding a mountain bike down a 32-mile trail that starts atop Grand Mesa in alpine tundra and ends up in the high-desert town of Palisade known for its wine and peaches, an elevation drop of 6,000 feet. The Palisade Plunge is a new mountain bike trail being planned for the Grand Valley’s east end that is slated to begin construction in 2019 as part of Governor John Hickenlooper’s Colorado the Beautiful Initiative.

Shooting Sports: The Grand Valley remains true to its western roots and is a mecca for sportsmen and sportswomen alike. Known for abundant large game herds surrounding the area, Grand Junction serves as a hub during large game, water fowl and small game hunting opportunities. Shooting enthusiasts can practice their aim at the indoor shooting range, Rocky Mountain Gun Club, or they can sight in at the free outdoor public facility in the north desert of Grand Junction.

What’s New? A new, world-class shooting and education facility, The Cameo Complex, is under construction in Western Colorado, just east of Palisade, and will break ground in February 2018. Once it has been completed, the complex will be much more than just another place to safely shoot rifles, pistols, archery and shotguns, it will also serve as an educational and training facility, where kids can learn about the safe use of firearms and law enforcement can sharpen their skills. The complex will also be a top destination for people from all over the world to participate in organized shooting competitions.

Water Sports: Starting high in the Rocky Mountains in central Colorado, the Colorado River runs through the Grand Valley, passing the towns of Palisade, Grand Junction, and Fruita. After the mighty river exits Debeque Canyon from the east, it ebbs and flows west along the southern edge of the valley, passing boat launches and riverside ponds, before dropping into a series of deep canyons. The Colorado River Corridor, offers loads of fun for rafters, kayakers, canoeists, and stand-up paddlers.

What’s New? Visitors can satisfy their need for speed on a jet-boating excursion with Jet Boat Colorado, the first company in the state to offer jet-propelled boating experiences of this magnitude. Launched in summer 2017, 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.”

Also, slated to open this coming summer in Fruita, Imondi Wake Zone will be the state’s first-ever cable wakeboarding park. It will allow people to enjoy water sports without the need for a boat. The cable system can pull up to seven wakeboarders in a counterclockwise circuit on the lake, offering the opportunity to jump over obstacles and ride rails. Another option gives beginner wakeboarders a chance to try out the sport on a shorter course that cuts across another portion of the lake. A 7-acre section of the lake will be open to the public for swimming, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking.

Golf: Grand Junction offers five public golf courses for visitors to choose from including The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa which is located at the base of the towering pink and red sandstone face of the Colorado National Monument, and nearby Tiara Rado Golf Course at which golfers swing alongside deer and herons on yards of green. 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.

What’s New? The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa was listed as the Best Public Course in Colorado 2017 by GolfWeek.

For 7 adventures in one day inspiration, please check out the two Grand Day CO videos - http://granddayco.gjep.org/

Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, [email protected], 970-887-2536
Mistalynn Meyeraan, Visit Grand Junction, [email protected] , 970-244-1480