Winter on the Western Slope

We all know that Colorado winter is known for resort skiing, high-end lodging, trendy restaurants - and as locals, we love it! There’s a reason Colorado is snow’s perfect state!

The other chapter of the Colorado winter story is there lives a place Coloradoans flock to that offers a reprieve from the snow where you can enjoy your favorite activities all year long. Friendly locals hang out with guests sharing epic adventure stories over a craft beverage, lodging is uber affordable, and over 150 restaurants catering to every pallet and budget. This place is the Grand Junction area. Don’t believe us? Check it out…

 

An Escape from the Typical Colorado Winter

Hiking

While Grand Junction is considered a high desert, the area sits at an elevation of 4,500 feet and is perfectly situated between the Grand Mesa, Colorado National Monument, and Book Cliffs, all contributing to the Grand Junction area’s pleasantly mild winters. While the Mesa receives over 250 inches of snow every winter, Grand junction rarely receives more than the occasional dusting, providing for unlimited trail hiking year-round. With a pair of comfortable hiking boots and a light jacket, you’ll be ready to spend the day exploring.

A winter hike through Devil’s Canyon in the McInnis National Conservation Area will have you exploring intricate, steep, and narrow canyons that carve their way through the landscape. Several trails begin here and wind their way along the bottom of the canyons, following the twists and turns sculpted by water over millions of years.

Mountain Biking

     Photo by Over the Edge Sports 

Grand Junction is known for its mountain biking with some of the best trail connectivity and range of difficulty in the country. Trails spider web across the high desert in every direction and ensure breathtaking views of the valley. For those of you not ready to retire your bikes for the winter season, don’t worry, Grand Junction has you covered! Like hiking, it is possible to enjoy most of the trails year-round. Even on those occasions when the ground is covered with fresh snow, fat bikes open new possibilities for those addicted to pedaling. Check out Kokopelli’s Loop Trails Area, or the trails at 18 Road for an epically good time.

Golf

If you’re counting down the days till the snow melts and you can get back on your favorite golf course, then you need to start planning a trip to Grand Junction. Home to five public golf courses, some open all year round, Grand Junction is a mecca for those looking to get on the green and perfect their golf swing. Redlands Mesa Golf Course was even rated the #1 course by Golfweek! Even in winter, you can keep your clubs from gathering dust, thanks to Grand Junction’s temperate climate, it’s possible to play all year long. Be warned, you might find it hard to focus on your swing while surrounded by scenery this remarkable.

Rock Climbing

     Photo by Ashley Marshall

The Colorado National Monument is a climber’s paradise filled with towers, splitter cracks, and sandstone walls.  Climbers can summit iconic multi-pitch climbs like Independence Monument and Sentinel Spire that will make you feel as though you’ve conquered the world. There are also plenty of single pitch routes throughout the park if you’re looking to climb a wide variety of the Monument in a single trip. Since the Monument receives only the occasional dusting of snow and Grand Junction’s 275 average days of sunshine are quick to melt it away, you have the chance to harness up and climb legendary rocks even in the winter! Be sure to check out the Monument’s climbing guidelines before you go!

 

If you’re looking for over 250 inches of light, fluffy powder, an affordable mountain resort with rarely a lift line, and endless ways to play in the snow and ice, check out the other side of Grand Junction!