Vacationland

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


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DELTA

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 ...


Agritour

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 ...


Highline

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 GJSentinel.com.  You can read the E-Edition version by clicking here. Inside you’ll find articles on: •Things to do in downtown Grand Junction •Fruita, ...


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Check out one of Western Slope’s big sporting events

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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 ...


052012vacJeeping

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, ...


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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 ...


052012vacPaonia

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 ...


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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, ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


052012_VAC_BlackCanyon

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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


052012vacPalisadeRim1

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 ...


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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 ...


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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, ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


050212vacFloatGreen

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 ...


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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. ...


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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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Take a day ... Visit Glenwood Springs

By {screen_name}

Besides being 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the most sweltering of summer days in Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs boasts an abundance of reasons to hop into the car and head 90 minutes east on Interstate 70. The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool ...


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Mesa County Fair celebrates 125 years

By Staff

The Mesa County Fair will celebrate its 125th anniversary with fireworks, the Grand Junction Centennial Band and a cake decorating contest among other events from July 17–21 at the fairgrounds, 2785 U.S. Highway 50. A few of the things ...


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Take a tour of downtown Grand Junction

By Ann Wright

You could sit on a park bench and drink in downtown Grand Junction while enjoying a mocha. Or you could take a tour. Main Street, Colorado Avenue and the streets between, there are a number of ways to visit downtown that will have you seeing ...


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Discover fun in the eastern Utah desert

By Melinda Mawdsley

You’re not on Mars. You’re at Goblin Valley State Park. Or at least you could be. The park’s hoodoos, above, are just some of many unique landscapes to be seen and experienced in Eastern Utah. Not far from Globin Valley is ...


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Durango a haven for good eats, treats

By Paul Shockley

When John Cohen has been away from his hometown of Durango for a period of time, he likes to visit a local jewel. It’s right outside his front door. Cohen, director of the Durango Area Tourism Office, said a favorite pastime of his is ...


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Getaway to Gateway for fun and relaxation

By Rachel Sauer

Don’t come here for flashing marquees or to go-go-go all night long. Stay off Colorado Highway 141’s undulating curves if your speedometer doesn’t like dipping below 60 mph. If you want flash, if you want glitz, if you want ...


VL Taco Bell Tennis

Tennis anyone? Why not ... it’s one of the Grand Valley’s top sports

By {screen_name}

Tennis is one of the most popular activities in the Grand Valley. There are more than 50 courts from Fruita to Palisade, including four indoor, and several tournaments through the summer and fall. For adults or children wanting to learn the ...


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White River National Forest is Colorado’s largest forest, and offers a lot

By Dave Buchanan

A number of years ago, a city-weary traveler was pulling off the road near the top of Vail Pass just as another road warrior was climbing back into his car. A voice emanated from the car pulling off the road. “What did you see?” ...


052211vacGrandMesa

Escape the heat by retreating to Grand Mesa

By Charles Ashby

DENVER — Expect temperatures to be 10 or so degrees cooler as you ascend the world’s largest flattop mountain. As such, Grand Mesa is a great getaway from the summertime heat on the Grand Valley floor and, as the home of the Grand ...


052211vacAspen1

Aspen, Snowmass offer much more than skiing and snowboarding

By Dennis Webb

Think of Aspen and Snowmass Village, and you probably think about skiing and snowboarding or, in the summer, getaways into lush green mountains. Thanks to a world-class fossil find last fall, however, people are thinking a little differently ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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Arches National Park is an adventure for all

By {screen_name}

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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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, ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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