Autumn in Grand Junction is filled with clear, crisp mornings and warm, sunny days bursting with color. As evenings saunter in, the air turns cool and the skies fill with stars. A handful of autumn events make this time of year in Grand Junction even more special.
Festival season in the Grand Valley wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the extremely popular Colorado Mountain Winefest, the annual Tour de Vineyards, and the family-friendly Two Rivers Chautauqua. Choose from winemaker dinners to bike tours, and Cold Shivers Pale Ale to a marathon past Cold Shivers Point. Grand Valley fall festivals are all about variety.
The much-anticipated Colorado Mountain Winefest is one of the area's signature events and includes grape stomping, special Winemaker Dinners, seminars for curious wine aficionados, an Enstrom Chocolates & Wine Tasting event and much more. Celebrate the annual grape harvest September 17-20, 2015 and taste some wonderful Grand Valley-grown wines.
The Annual Tour de Vineyards bike ride has become one of the most popular parts of the Winefest weekend. The 25-mile ride wanders past many of the area's vineyards as well as plenty of beautiful scenery. Advance registration is required for the ride, which takes place September 19. Winefest's big Festival in the Park features lots of vino and good food. A multitude of artists also sell their works at the festival. The scenery is fantastic with huge cottonwood trees looming over the grassy park while the Colorado River flows lazily nearby. On Sunday there’s another tour of the wineries, a Winemakers Brunch and the Amateur Winemaking Awards and Reception. For more information and tickets, log on to www.coloradowinefest.com.
Cross Orchards, a living history park, hosts an annual Chautauqua that brings history to life with actors performing spirited portrayals of famous historical figures such as P.T. Barnum, Mark Twain and Molly Brown, to name a few. The event features a Kick-off Dance and tons of presentations and performances. Tickets are typically $15 for an entire family, $12 per couple, or $7.50 per person. For more information, go to www.tworiverschautauqua.com. The event is brought to Grand Junction by the Museum of Western Colorado and the Two Rivers Chautauqua Committee.
Cyclists flock to the Grand Valley each October for the annual Tour of the Moon, which takes place on October 3, 2015. One of the premier recreational road rides in the West was made famous as part of the Coors Classic in the 1980s as part of the cycling movie "American Flyers." With high desert scenery and beautiful roads, the Tour of the Moon is an epic day of cycling. The course leads riders along a 62-mile or 41-mile ride and across the finish line at the Colorado National Monument. The post-ride Harvest Moon Celebration includes music, lunch, prize drawings and more. Registration is limited to the first 2,000 participants. Get more info from the Tour of the Moon website.
If you like to mix physical challenges with extreme natural beauty, then you won't want to miss the annual Rim Rock Marathon. Taking place on November 7, 2015, this point-to-point marathon leads participants through the entirety of the Colorado National Monument's Rim Rock Drive and past dramatic red rock monuments and breathtaking views. If you aren't ready for the full 26 miles, grab a partner and split the course into halves. Music, food and more await you at the finish line.