1. Three different routes accommodate travelers with a wide array of interests and cyclists of varying abilities.
The 5-mile East Cruiser Loop is an easy ride along the Colorado River, and the 7-mile West Cruiser Loop winds through Palisade’s picturesque Riverbend Park. Meanwhile, those traveling by car and sturdy bicyclists love the 25-mile East Orchard Mesa Loop, which encompasses several hills and affords incredible views of the sprawling Grand Valley.
2. There are more than a dozen amazing wineries to visit.
Palisade’s sunny weather mingles with dry air and cool nights to produce award-winning varietals of wine and epic fruit harvests. Known as the center of Colorado’s well-established wine industry, the Grand Valley American Viticultural Area is home to a majority of the state’s wineries and vineyards.
More than 12 of the area’s more than 20 wineries can be found along the Fruit and Wine Byway. Sip the Barn Owl Red and the Finz Dessert Wine at Mesa Park Vineyards; pair the Vin de Peche (made with Muscat grapes and ripe peaches) with a heaping charcuterie board at Maison la Belle Vie Winery and don’t miss the smooth Lighting Cat Reisling at Carlson Vineyards.
3. Local farms offer a peek at the region’s agricultural riches.
Late summer is prime time to sample the area’s famous fruits, including apples, apricots, cherries and the coveted Palisade peach. Find super-fresh produce, preserves and other treats at the many farm stands along the Fruit and Wine Byway, including Anita’s Pantry & Produce and Alida’s Fruits. The farm and orchard tours are also excellent. Learn about organic farming at Aloha Organic Fruit, meet the happy alpacas at SunCrest Orchard Alpacas and Fiber Works and walk through fragrant lavender fields at Sage Creations Organic Farm.
4. There’s more to discover than just fruit and wine.
5. The Fruit and Wine Byway boasts some of the Western Slope’s most iconic views.
Sights of the majestic Grand Mesa — the world’s largest flat-top mountain — as it towers over lush orchards and picturesque vineyards with tidy rows of grape vines are simply unforgettable. Break out your camera to capture wraparound panoramas of the Grand Valley and the Book Cliffs, sandstone mountains that resemble a shelf of books.