Explore the Western Slope! Hiking, Biking, Rafting, Craft Beer and more in Grand Junction and beyond

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Vacationland: Stay awhile in nature camping

By Greg Ruland

Amber firelight dances on lodgepole pines. Wood smoke swirls in the crisp, cool air like incense, then disappears in the darkness. A silvery moon rises above the ridge, turning the black sky to midnight blue. Reach for the clouds and stretch ...

Vacationland: Redstone

By Ann Wright

If the heat of summer has you down, then go up — up to Redstone, which at 7,200 feet in elevation will certainly cool you off while exploring the area’s mountainous beauty. “Redstone is truly a magical town,” said Deb ...

Vacationland: Glenwood Springs

By Dennis Webb

Whether it’s on the ground, on or in the water, or up in the air, Glenwood Springs offers visitors year-round opportunities for adventure, relaxation, or maybe a little bit of both. The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool draws weary motorists ...

Vacationland: Meeker

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

Meeker is a small town with Wild West roots that celebrates its rural heritage. That deep-rooted heritage is what has made Meeker a historic destination for visitors from around the world. “People need to get out and explore new places ...

Vacationland: Rifle

By Ann Wright

When you think of Rifle, a number of things might come to mind. You might think about the world class rock climbing at Rifle Mountain Park or the wealth of activities available at the two nearby state parks: Rifle Gap and Rifle Falls. Or it ...

Mud, Dust & Dirt Biking

By Dale Shrull

Steven Picore adjusted his goggles and turned to his two riding buddies. “Let’s do this!” Then the trio cranked the throttles and were gone, leaving a dust train in their wake. “There are so many places to ride around ...

Vacationland: Montrose

By Mike Wiggins

One of the first things visitors bound for Montrose spot is the mountains — those craggy, snaggletoothed San Juan Mountains that, on one of the many clear days that spoils us here in western Colorado, can be spotted two counties ...

Vacationland: North Fork Valley

By Rachel Sauer

Chicago is a long way from the North Fork Valley, especially in 1893, when the journey had to be made by train or wagon or horseback. But so confident were settlers to the valley that they made the trek to the World’s Fair, bearing ...

Vacationland: Cedaredge

By Rachel Sauer

It’s not hard to guess how Cedaredge got its name: It’s a town established at the edge of the cedars growing on the southern slopes of Grand Mesa. The name origins may be obvious, but Cedaredge has long been a town of charm that ...

The view’s afoot — hiking

By {screen_name}

There’s a hiking trail for everyone in the Grand Valley and surrounding areas, whether you have two feet or four paws, a family in tow or are flying solo, can muscle up a hill in no time flat or would rather lie flat, or just want to try ...

Vacationland: Delta

By Ann Wright

MUST-DO’S ‘In theaters: Delta offers two unique places for watching one of Hollywood’s latest film releases. ( Tru Vu Drive-In, 1001 Colorado Highway 92 Egyptian Theater, 452 Main St., ...

Vacationland: Festivals, Music & More

By Staff

Festivals, Music & More Art + Music and Grand Junction Off-Road May 28–31. Downtown Grand Junction. Art vendors, bike races, concerts with James McMurtry, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Shakey Graves and many other bands, beer and ...

Festivals: Fruita Fall Festival

By Penny Stine

The Fruita Fall Festival is a great time to be outside enjoy thing the weather, the small-town atmosphere in Fruita and the great talent being assembled by the Fruita Chamber of Commerce for the 2015 festival. This year’s theme, ...

Festivals: Colorado Mountain Winefest

By Penny Stine

It’s only May, and while you may want to focus your vacation plans around summertime activities, don’t forget to put the Colorado Mountain Winefest on your calendar for Sept. 17 - 20. Although the big festival in the park will ...

Festivals: Palisade Peach Festival

By Penny Stine

As you make your vacation plans for the summer, don’t forget about the Palisade Peach Festival. Dates are Aug. 13 - 16, with a special peach night at the Grand Junction Rockies baseball game on Wed., Aug. 12 to get folks in the mood, and ...

Festivals: Mesa County Fair

By Penny Stine

The Mesa County Fair, held July - this year, is switching things up this year, hoping to generate excitement about the Grandstand entertainment acts by bringing Bill Engvall to the fair on Tuesday. The traditional fireworks show has been moved ...

Music: Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience

By Staff

Sept. 4 - 6 Since this is the th Anniversary of the JAS Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience, it’s only fitting that the line-up includes some of the most exciting headliners in ...

Music: Grand Junction Symphony

By Penny Stine

June 13 - CMU ballroom • June 27 - Grande River Vineyards July 16 - Mesa County Fair • Aug. 15 - CMU campus quad Aug. 23 - Stocker Stadium It’s going to be a busy summer for the Grand Junction Symphony ...

Music: Colorado Riverfront Series

By Penny Stine

June 11 - Young Dubliners • July 29 - Robert Earl Keene Sept. 2 - Los Lonely Boys The Colorado Riverfront Concert Series has become a big part of the summer music scene in the Grand Valley ...


By Richie Ann Ashcraft

Looming high above the Grand Valley, Grand Mesa is a woodland oasis for Colorado’s desert dwellers. Visitors enjoy mountain hiking in cool mountain air or fishing in Grand Mesa’s 300 lakes and reservoirs. The Grand Mesa National ...

Golf vacationland


By Charles Ashby

While golfing may be experiencing somewhat of a decline nationwide, that doesn’t seem to be the case in the Grand Valley, according to golfers and golf-course workers. Nationally, participation and equipment sales have been in decline ...

Fruita Rooster


By Ann Wright

Sitting in the shadow of the Colorado National Monument, Fruita boasts world-class mountain biking and other outdoor adventures, and an array of festivals and events conveniently packed into one area. “It’s just a vibrant ...

Vacationland Biker


By Julie Norman

Whether you’re biking for the first time this spring or you’ve been at it for 20 years, the Grand Junction and Fruita area bike trails will thrill you with scenic views, killer climbs and fun, rolling terrain. For road cyclists, ...


By Melinda Mawdsley

No matter how you get there — limousine, bicycle, horsedrawn carriage or personal vehicle — visiting any of the nearly 40 wineries in western Colorado is a great way to soak in the scenery and get to know the region’s ...


By Amy Hamilton

So you want to learn a little bit about what fruits, herbs and animals are raised here? Perhaps you’d like to get in there and sample your way across the Grand Valley, enjoying the produce from the labors of growers, ranchers and animal ...


By Rachel Sauer

It all started with some rosy, fuzzy skin. Because really, is there anything more charming than a sun-warmed peach, all sweet and sassy, fairly bursting with delight? Not in Palisade, there isn’t. Blessed with a seemingly perfect ...

Vacationland ATV


By Robert McLean

When the hatchback or pickup truck just can’t make it any farther and you want to put a little mud (or red sand) on the tires, an all-terrain vehicle is the perfect option. And with hundreds of maintained trails and roads on public ...

Vacationland rockclimb


By Ann Wright

Let’s say it’s one of those days: It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. Or it’s smack in the middle of monsoon season and the rain isn’t letting up. And the kids are rambunctious! You’ve got to ...

Beer Vacationland


By Paul Shockley

If your craving is locally crafted beer, we are rich in quality in Grand Junction and western Colorado: . Kannah Creek Brewing Co., 1960 N. 12th St., Grand Junction, and Edgewater Brewery, 905 Struthers Ave., Grand Junction In the estimation ...

Grand Junction

By Melinda Mawdsley

With abundant sunshine, vibrant downtown area and beautiful scenery, Grand Junction is the ideal place to start or end your vacation in western Colorado. Named in the late 1800s because of its location at the junction of the Gunnison and ...


By Ann Wright

Even in its earliest days, Delta came to be known as a place where things come together. In fact, its name comes from its location at the confluence of the Gunnison and Uncompahgre rivers. And in the early 1800, before the city was ...

ATV Vacationland

Trails, Roads Aplenty for ATVs

By Melinda Mawdsley

Hundreds of maintained trails and roads on public lands are open for all-terrain vehicle riders in Colorado and Utah, providing summer access to forests of pines and aspens or dramatic backdrops of red rocks and sand dunes. From Glenwood ...

Fat tires

The Ride’s the Thing:  Biking Up and Down Western Colorado

By Ann Wright

To quote Fat Bastard, “Once you’ve had fat, you never go back!” Except if you fall in love with skinny. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to ride in western Colorado and Eastern Utah no matter your persuasion on ...

Palisade Vacationland Peaches

PALISADE:  Bask in the Glow of Orchards, Vineyards and Art

By Rachel Sauer

The road to renown began with some fuzz. Well, fuzz and sunshine. And a seemingly perfect confluence of location, weather and water — a rather pedestrian way of saying that from the simple, rosy fuzz of peaches has grown world renown for ...


Stop by a Farm, Eat Fresh, even Birdwatch: Take an Agritour

By Melinda Mawdsley

The bounty of farms, ranches, orchards and vineyards in western Colorado has made agritourism an increasingly popular draw for visitors wanting to learn more about agriculture and meet the men and women responsible for maintaining this style ...

Fruita Dino

From Biking to Festivals, to Museums, Family-Friendly Fruita Keeps Everyone Happy

By Mike Wiggins

When you contemplate western Colorado’s vacation destinations, Fruita may not rank among the heaviest of the heavyweights. But pound-for-pound, it packs as big a punch as any of them. Passionate about the outdoors? Value unique ...


Take your trip on the water

By Staff

Maybe it’s because the American West is so dry, but water seems to gleam particularly blue out here. Especially in the hot summer months, this area’s water bodies draw boaters of all stripes — from power boats to canoes and ...

Frisbee golf

Grand Junction

By Melinda Mawdsley

Walk, run, ride: Miles of paved paths extend along the Colorado River from 33 1/2 Road in east Grand Junction to Walter Walker State Wildlife Area on the west side of the city. The Colorado Riverfront Trail offers ample opportunities to see ...

Grand Junction Must-Dos

By Staff

GRAND JUNCTION M U S T - D O S Take a swim: Lincoln Park-Moyer Swimming Pool is open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. It has a water slide and diving boards and is located within Lincoln Park, corner of 12th Street and Gunnison ...

Vacationland 2014 is here

By Julie Norman

The 2014 edition of Vacationland has published and now available on  You can read the E-Edition version by clicking here. Inside you’ll find articles on: •Things to do in downtown Grand Junction •Fruita, ...


Check out one of Western Slope’s big sporting events

By {screen_name}

The Grand Junction Rockies have added another layer to the summertime fun to be had while watching or participating in the various sporting events on the Western Slope. The Colorado Rockies Rookie-affiliate team will play 38 home games during ...


Get high on alpine views while on a backcountry four-wheel tour

By Dave Buchanan

You could traverse the scenic Alpine Loop connecting Ouray, Lake City and Silverton the way the miners did a century ago. But who has a mule when you really need one? Instead of fighting a smart but notoriously stubborn four-legged beast, ...


Durango beer (and biking and hiking) is a big hit

By Paul Shockley

When I’m in Durango, I drink. Period. I’ve done just about everything else there is to do there, and it’s all fine, please understand. Here’s how I look at it: While any number of western Colorado getaways will offer ...


Unhurried, but with plenty to do, wander Paonia

By Rachel Sauer

Sure, you can head over to Paonia and get ambitious. There are mountains to climb and woods to explore, and the pristine beauty of the North Fork Valley certainly leads the feet in those directions. But here’s another thought: Stop by ...


Enjoy mountain melodies of Aspen Music Festival

By Dennis Webb

The spring melt-out of Aspen’s world-renowned ski runs isn’t entirely bad news for residents of this resort town. After all, it means the start of the world-renowned Aspen Music Festival and School is just around the corner, ...


Sheepdog trials, Range Call pack Meeker with festival atmosphere

By {screen_name}

Meeker is known as the western “gateway” to the Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway, but there’s no reason not to stop for a day in this town, particularly when there is professional sheepherding or a rodeo to be seen. You can see ...


Fruita’s singletrack attraction growing

By Nick Walter

In the mid 1990s, there was one mountain biking mecca: Moab, Utah. That’s when a group of Fruita mountain biking enthusiasts, including Troy Rarick, former owner of Over the Edge Sports mountain bike shop in Fruita, had an idea: What ...


Hike down and look up at Black Canyon from banks of Gunnison River

By Matthew Berger

Going from overlook to overlook along South Rim Road, a descent down Black Canyon to the Gunnison River — in places, almost two Empire State Buildings below — can seem a ridiculous proposition. But according to that twist of logic ...


McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area delights adventure seekers

By Amy Hamilton

Relax. Unwind. Discover a new trail or plan a weekend float trip. The wide open spaces and the opportunity to enjoy a range of activities in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area are a delight for adventure seekers. The 123,000-acre ...


Fall for Rifle Falls State Parks’ offerings

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

Rifle Falls State Park is one of the easiest natural waterfalls to access in Colorado. Three falls cascade 70-feet into a large pool making a dramatic backdrop for picnics, group gatherings and other family activities. The mist and ...


See sweeping views on Palisade Rim Trail hike

By Melinda Mawdsley

Want to go on a hike but don’t have the time or energy for an all-day trek on a remote trail? If so, the Palisade Rim Trail could be your answer. Accessed off U.S. Highway 6 just before the road joins Interstate 70 east of Palisade, the ...


See Colorado National Monument via the professionals

By Melinda Mawdsley

Colorado National Monument is among the most popular destinations in western Colorado for its ample recreational opportunities, but there is more to this attraction than meets the untrained eye. Those wanting to learn about the people, places ...


Biking White Rim Trail is exhilaratingly tough and worth every minute

By Tammy Gemaehlich

Contrasts and adventure await those who mountain bike the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park in eastern Utah. Just two hours from Grand Junction, riders can leisurely meander the length of the trail’s more than 80 miles, ...


Grand Mesa provides colorful mixture of outdoor adventures

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

The place to get away, when you can’t get away, is Grand Mesa. Just a weekend, a day or more among the sparkling aspens, clean water and fresh air will be enough to revive even the most tired soul. IN A DAY: A simple drive atop Grand ...


Dinosaur Diamond makes fossils easy to find

By {screen_name}

Don’t be fooled by the rocky, sometimes forbidding landscape. Western Colorado is anything but barren. In fact, the surrounding landscape has been at the bottom of a shallow sea, and its lands were trod by dinosaurs and woolly ...

Discover a golf course with good views and reviews

By {screen_name}

Golfers can find some memorable moments in and near the Grand Valley, even if they haven’t time to play a full 18 holes — and, of course, if they do. To begin, a golfer who wants to warm up but hasn’t time to actually play ...


Get to know western Colorado’s rivers via fly-fishing float trip

By Dave Buchanan

Sitting in a dory on a river full of fish, watching the scenery and waving a stick, to paraphrase angling author John Gierach. Life is good, you know? The Grand Valley may not have a great trout river to call its own, but it’s close ...


Hike and gape at Utah’s looming Fisher Towers

By Rachel Sauer

Oh, there’s a logical, scientific explanation, all right: varying amounts of hematite. That’s why the rocks are the colors they are. But really, there’s no word for the color. It’s not red, exactly, nor is it purple. ...


Tour Colorado’s national parks, monuments

By Staff

Colorado has four national parks and five monuments. Visit them all in a clockwise route: ■ Rocky Mountain National Park — Trail Ridge Road, Longs Peak, 300 miles of hiking are some of what can be found in this 415-square mile ...

Gateway hot spot for classic cars, canyons

By Charles Ashby

The state’s official tourism website says this about Gateway: “A general store, cafe and tiny motel mark one of Colorado’s westernmost communities…” Guess they haven’t been there in awhile. The community ...

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