Grand Junction Travel Guide

The largest town on Colorado’s western slope has little to offer visiting tourists, although it makes a decent base for exploring some of the natural attractions in the surrounding area. Despite its fortuitous location at the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers, and an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet, the town itself fails to impress although its burgeoning arts scene does merit some attention.

Grand Junction lies at the far western end of I-70, which cuts straight through the Rocky Mountains from Denver. This medium-sized city has a typical Main street scene, with dozens of smaller streets branching off in a grid. The few restaurants, bars and art galleries of interest can be found here, although an intrepid explorer may find a few hidden gems tucked away down the side lanes.

With its two rivers, Grand Junction has a decent outdoor recreation environment. Biking is a great way to get around town, and the famous Kokopelli mountain bike trail starts here and runs all the way to Moab, Utah. Riverside parks provide another pleasant diversion, but most visitors head straight into the hills to explore the larger natural areas, especially if you’re a dinosaur buff.


Art on the Corner: more than 100 works of art are on display year-round at this outdoor sculpture exhibit at the Downtown Shopping Park.

Cross Orchards Historic Farm: this living museum was once a massive apple farm, and now visitors can tour the restored buildings and watch traditional artisans at work.

Dinosaur Journey: hands-on, interactive exhibits and life-size dinosaurs bring the prehistoric legacy of Grand Junction to life.

Western Colorado Botanical Gardens: located along the Colorado River, this 12 acre garden has walking trails, greenhouses and demonstration areas.

Western Colorado Center for the Arts: Western artists and Native American craftsmen are the highlights at this extensive art museum.

Dinosaur National Monument: a couple of hours drive north of town brings you to one of the world’s premier dinosaur excavation sites, where visitors can learn about these creatures and see where they died.

Colorado National Monument: just four miles west of town visitors can appreciate the vibrant shades of rock created by 200 millions years of weather erosion.