Colorado's Grand Valley has been described as “a little bit of Napa Valley, reminiscent of the Grand Canyon with just a hint of Vail”
Nevertheless, the place has a strong identity of its own. Serenity is part of it. Vineyards and orchards tend to enhance peace and quiet, even in the midst of rather dramatic landscape – the high walls of the Bookcliffs escarpment, sturdy Mount Garfield, the canyons of the Colorado National Monument and Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat top mountain.
Isolation is another part. Grand Junction is about half way between Denver and Salt lake City. On the other hand, Grand Junction has an airport with regular airline service. Downtown you will find dozens of shops, art galleries and restaurants along tree-lined Main Street, and live theaters, too.
Outdoor activities in the area include all winter sports, full service resorts and lodges and an average of 20 feet of snow on Grand Mesa, as against 24 inches in the Valley. This area is one of three in the US specifically set aside for wild horses. In winter, the herd moves to low country where there is less snow and more food. You can often see these horses by entering their range via Coal Canyon.
Grand Valley boasts 275 days of sunshine each year. In summer, there’s mountain biking, rafting, golf, fishing, even dinosaur digs. It is also the site of Colorado’s annual Winefest in September.
The nearby wineries and tasting rooms are open the year around.
Two Rivers Winery is just west of downtown Grand Junction. Winemaker Robert Hammelman limits his production to four noble grape varieties – Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, all of which have won medals in regional and international competitions. An outdoor terrace and pavilion adjoins the winery which is open Monday thru Saturday 10:30 to 6; Sunday noon to 5.
Colorado Wine Room is a tasting room and gift shop in Grand Junction featuring a wide variety of Colorado wines and wine-related gifts and accessories. You will also find educational displays describing there basics of winemaking. Each year there is a small “demonstration winery” in the store. Fine cuisine is served in the outdoor seating area in summer.
Colorado NationaL Monument 3819 Dike Rd., 970-858-3617, features 23,000 acres of rock formations, arches, windows, canyons and exposed layers of earth. There are 20 miles of hiking trails and a museum.
Dinosaur Journey Jurassic Court, 970-858-7282, just west of Grand Junction in Fuita. You'll find life-size robotic dinosaur replicas, a working paleontology laboratory and information about dinosaur excavations at this museum.
Where to stay in Grand Junction
From elegant and luxurious to budget-romatic, Grand Junction bed and breakfast inns have something for everyone.
Downtown Grand Junction has been restored and turned into tree-lined area for boutique shopping. But it's not all downtown.
Want to go fishing?
tells you how to get the latest information on where to find beautiful, easy-access fly fishing streams, what’s working and stream conditions from local guys who have caught fish in this area in the past week.