City Escape: Grand Junction, Colorado

City Escape: Grand Junction, Colorado

When visiting Grand Junction, CO, do not miss the opportunity to ride this stunning loop through the Colorado National Monument. Red rock monoliths and infinite views will cause severe rider conflict. Will you ride the perfect twisty pavement or stop and take in the surreal views?

Colorado National Monument contains nine canyons. Kodels, Fruita, and Lizard canyons are located near the west entrance of the park, approximately 1.5 miles from the town of Fruita. Gold Star, Redlands, Ute, and Red canyons are just east of Monument Mesa. Finally, Columbus and No Thoroughfare canyons sit at the east entrance, four miles from Grand Junction.


Approximately 40 miles

Lunch Stop

Handlebar Taphouse has 24 craft beer taps to choose from, with some of the most interesting and freshest craft beers in the country. Great beer deserves to be paired with great food and Handlebar’s menu doesn’t disappoint. Find it at  417 Monument Rd #1, Grand Junction, CO, (970) 985-4245.

Points of Interest

The Overlooks

It would be impossible to pick just one of the overlooks on this route to highlight. There are plenty of them, and each gives a fantastic but slightly different view of the Colorado National Monument. The Coke Ovens overlook is one of the more popular ones, but each of the pullouts is worth a stop if you have the time to spare.

Fruita, CO

Fruita, near the west entrance to the Colorado National Monument, has become a destination spot for mountain bikers. If you own a mountain bike, this is your Mecca. The North Fruita Desert trail system includes appropriately named routes, like Chutes and Ladders, Zippety-Do-Da, Edge Loop, Joe’s Ridge, and Prime Cut. The Kokopelli Trail is a 142-mile trail connecting the nearby town of Loma to Moab, UT.

Palisade, CO

Just a few minutes east of Grand Junction sits the town of Palisade, famous for its wineries, orchards, and especially Palisade peaches. In addition to fruit and wine, Palisade is close to many wonderful areas for outdoor activities, such as Tillman Bishop State Wildlife Area and James M. Robb State Park.