Vacationland

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


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052211vacTelluride1

Telluride, Ouray, Ridgway provide great summer recreational trips

By William Woody

Located beneath the towering peaks of the San Juan Mountains, the communities of Telluride, Ouray and Ridgway offer some of the best summer activities in Colorado. TELLURIDE Nicknamed the “festival capital of the southwest,” ...


052211vacGlenwood

A quick getaway awaits in Glenwood Springs

By Dennis Webb

For anyone seeking a shot of adrenaline, the Glenwood Springs area is increasingly offering a fix. Long a rafting mecca, the city a few years ago enhanced the opportunities for thrills and spills on the Colorado River with the installation of ...


052211vacColoStParks1

With 42 state parks in Colorado, finding an adventure isn’t difficult

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

Colorado has 42 state parks that provide all kinds of outdoor experiences — relaxing by a campfire, skidding across waves in speedboat — and every family can find something to enjoy in Colorado. And more than 11 million visitors ...


052211vacBookCliffs

Go wild in Little Book Cliffs

By Bob Silbernagel

More than 33,000 wild horses and burros roam across ranges on federal lands in 10 Western states. But the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area just northeast of Grand Junction is unique in several ...


052211vacArches1

Arches National Park is an adventure for all

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Dotted with 2,000 sandstone arches and boasting hiking trails ranging in length from a mere 100 yards to more than 7 miles, Arches National Park outside Moab, Utah, offers something for everyone who relishes exploring the outdoors. And with ...


052211vacCanyonlands1

Canyonlands: A sprawling area of hiking, walking and riding

By {screen_name}

Canyonlands National Park is a sprawling landscape of canyons, mesas and buttes, a 527-square-mile playground that encompasses three districts and two rivers. Don’t let its size intimidate you. While portions of the park are among the ...


052211vacRockClimbing

Seek a thrill? Try rock climbing

By {screen_name}

There are plenty of outdoor activities to try on the Western Slope and in Mesa County from skiing to hiking, biking, rafting and rock climbing. But with rock climbing, it is highly recommended to learn how to rock climb at an indoor rock ...


052211vacMcInnisCan1

McInnis Canyons welcomes all who seek adventure

By Amy Hamilton

Ample wide open spaces and the opportunity to enjoy a range of activities in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area is a delight for adventure seekers. Read: If you like the outdoors, you’re going to love this place. The ...


052211vacCountyFair3

Mesa County Fair set for July 19-23

By Tammy Gemaehlich

The 124th annual Mesa County Fair, with the theme “Summer Days & Country Ways,” is set for July 19–23 at the Mesa County Fairgrounds, 2785 U.S. Highway 50. The 2011 Mesa County Fair Open Class books are now available. ...


052211vacDinosaur1

With 210,00 acres, this Dinosaur Nat’l Monument has plenty to offer

By {screen_name}

The monument, which sits just across the Colorado-Utah border in the Beehive State, encompasses more than 210,000 acres, only a small portion of which is devoted to the namesake creatures that died there eons ago. Man, in fact, has known ...


052211vacDowntown2

It’s all down on Main Street

By Tammy Gemaehlich

Grand Junction’s Main Street isn’t just an address, it’s a destination. Here are some of the highlights and happenings you find downtown. The dust is settling as construction nears completion. Main Street, much of which has ...


052211vacDirtBiking1

Kickstart it: Plenty of room to ride

By Patrick Bahr

When the dust settles and the smokes clears, it’s easy to see there is plenty for the gearheads in western Colorado. Whether it’s on two wheels or four wheels, there are options for riding. There is plenty of room to ride in the ...


052211vacRockyMnt1

Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park: ‘A land of contrast and incredible intensity’

By Dave Buchanan

Rocky Mountain National Park, to borrow the phrase of two esteemed naturalists, is “a land of contrast and incredible intensity ... where there is nothing between you and the sky.” Its bony mountains, towering over verdant ...


052211vacMuseums2

Escape the heat, tour a museum

By Tammy Gemaehlich

A convenient way for you and the kids to escape the heat this summer is by touring an area museum. With the exception of the Museum of Western Colorado’s living history site and parts of the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens, there is ...


052211vacRunning3

Lace ‘em up

By {screen_name}

The Rim Rock Marathon is the crown jewel for many runners in Mesa County, but it’s almost six months away. Until Nov. 12, there are a number of running events to encourage you to prepare for the run over Colorado National ...


052211vacRafting

Ride a wave, hit the rapids

By Patrick Bahr

One of the Grand Valley’s best natural resources is the Colorado River. The mighty river offers plenty of recreation opportunities ranging from relaxing tubing trips to whitewater rafting. In fact, Grand Junction is named for the ...


052211vacCycling1

Grand Valley biking in full effect

By {screen_name}

Bicycling events have already begun in western Colorado . The annual Fruita Fat Tire Festival was April 28–May 1, the Rose Hill Rally was May 1, the 18 Hours of Fruita race was two weeks ago. But there are still some road biking events ...


052211vacBlackCanyon2

By land or by water, visitors get viewing pleasure in Black Canyon of the Gunnison

By William Woody

Each year, about 200,000 visitors travel to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park to see millions of years of geology combine with some of the best recreational activities on the Western Slope. The park offers hiking, camping, ...


052211vacFestivals1

Grand Valley celebrates it all

By Tammy Gemaehlich

The Grand Valley community heartily celebrates its fruits and veggies, music and heritage. There are numerous festivals and events to attend during the summer. Here are some to keep in mind: Thursday Night Concert Series — These free ...


Sand dunes vacationland 201

Water, wind build Great Sand Dunes

By The AP

MOSCA — Driving up to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, the view seems almost silly: Across from shallow creeks at the base of the 14,000-foot Sangre de Cristo Mountains sit the largest sand piles in North America, kept in ...


052211vacRodeo1

Rodeo way is often the only way in the valley

By Patrick Bahr

The root of the rodeo is cowboys and cowgirls taking skills and practices from the ranch and bringing them to the competitive arena. Some of the current rodeo events include tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, ...


052211vacMesaVerde1

New hikes to take, sites to see in Mesa Verde National Park

By Emily Shockley

Exploring each cliff dwelling open to the public in Mesa Verde National Park is a near-impossible feat to accomplish in one short visit. This summer, achieving that task will become even harder as more cliff dwellings will be open to the ...


052211vacAgritourism1

It’s a growing paradise in the valley

By Patrick Bahr

The Grand Valley has everything it takes to successfully grow crops, but peaches and grapes especially thrive here and make the area a favorite with those who know their fruit and wine. The Orchard Mesa and Palisade areas are full of local ...


052211vacCNMbiking2

Coloraodo National Monument celebrates a century of majestic scenery

By Melinda Mawdsley

Colorado National Monument will soon undergo a noticeable change. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the monument’s establishment as part of the Antiquities Act, and officials plan to commemorate the occasion with improvements, ...


VL Ouray 1

VAC: A two-hour drive to Ouray is a great way to cool down

By {screen_name}

When temperatures tickle the triple digits in the Grand Valley this summer, a two-hour drive to Ouray is a great way to cool down while taking in some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Temperatures in this town cradled in the ...


VAC: Goblin Valley is a two and a half hour drive from Grand

By {screen_name}

A chocolate Easter Bunny, a wizard and a melting ice cream cone stand guard over campers who may struggle to set up tents in the roaring wind. It’s the same often relentless wind which helped carve the magical and whimsical sandstone ...


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