Sitting halfway between Denver and Salt Lake City, Grand Junction is actually named for its location at the junction of the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers. This western Colorado town is rife with history of American settlers and the native Ute Indians, both of which are apparent in Grand Junction’s recreational activities. Tourists can learn more about the past at the Museum of the West or Cross Orchards Historic Site, or simply take advantage of the stunning scenery at hand with a drive through a national park.Must-See Attractions
Recommended Scenic Drives
- Just two and a half hours outside Grand Junction is the Grand Mesa, a 10,000-foot flat-topped mountain that overlooks the Grand Mesa National Park. Due to its elevation, the mesa is the ideal place to cool off during hot summer days. In warm weather, wildflowers bloom in plenty, while in the fall, the changing shades of the forest are sure to catch your eye.
- Cross Orchards Historic Site is a century-old site that was formerly an apple-packing business. Docents in period clothing teach visitors about life at the turn of the 1900s, and a variety of farm animals, vintage equipment and preserved historic buildings bring the beautiful orchard to life.
- The Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway is a 133-mile journey along the west side of the Uncompahgre Plateau. Going south from Grand Junction by way of Highway 141, the byway comprises a dramatic landscape of red sandstone carved into an ancient canyon that changes colors with the rising and setting sun.
- The Grand Mesa National Scenic and Historic Byway takes you 6,000 feet above the national park to overlook endless evergreens and no less than 300 serene lakes. The two-hour trip takes you through four ecological zones, from desert sandstone to lush forests, along with a number of small towns and the Powderhorn Ski Resort.