The Best of the Western Slope

Fall colors on the Colorado River
The beautiful fall colors on the Colorado River

August and September in Colorado signal the onset of blissfully cooler temperatures, autumn harvests and festivals, leaf-peeping scenery and landscape-enriching afternoon monsoons. All of which makes visiting the glorious Western Slope environs of Grand Junction, Delta and Montrose so much sweeter.

The season especially rewards golfers a trove of prized courses. Grand Junction’s immediate surrounds boast seven terrific layouts including The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa, a vaunted Jim Engh creation that has earned multiple CAGGY awards plus Golfweek magazine’s “Best Courses You Can Play In Colorado” top ranking. Other challenges include recently renovated Tiara Rado Golf Course, members-only Bookcliff Country Club, nine-hole Lincoln Park, executive-style Chipeta Golf Course, Rifle Creek Golf Course and Fruita’s 27-hole Adobe Creek National.

Colorado Summer Golf trip ideas - Redlands Mesa
Redlands Mesa

More great golf is offered 40 miles south at Delta’s Devil’s Thumb Golf Club (designed by Rick Phelps) and Cedaredge Golf Course. And another 22 miles south in Montrose, the courses to play include Black Canyon, The Bridges (Nicklaus Design) and members-only The Links at Cobble Creek (Craig Cherry).

The Bridges Golf Club Deal in Montrose, Colorado
The Bridges

Players tips: Golfers can take full advantage of tempting regional daily fee discounts featured in the multi-benefit, 63-course Colorado AvidGolfer Golf Passport. Also, Tee It Up Montrose offers stay-and-play packages that start at $340 per person.

Non-golf recreation seems endless. Among the go-to favorites are bushwhacking the Colorado National Monument (Free Admission Day is Aug. 25); kayaking the Montrose Water Sports Park; hiking the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park; floating the Colorado River; exploring the Shavano Valley Petroglyphs Park, and mountain biking the panoramic Horsethief Bench Trail.

Rafting on the Colorado River
Rafting on the Colorado River

The Grand Junction area is also renowned for it burgeoning wineries (22 so far), fruit orchards and farm-to-table fields, paving way to multiple late summer celebrations like the 48th Annual Palisade Peach Festival (Aug. 19-20); 25th Annual Colorado Mountain Winefest (Palisade; Sept. 15-18); 23rd Annual Tour de Vineyards (Palisade; Sept. 17); Mountain Harvest Festival (Paonia; Sept. 22-25); and the Cedaredge Applefest (Oct. 1-2).

The always popular Palisade Peach festival is August 19-20
The always popular Palisade Peach festival is August 19-20 (image courtesy

Other worthwhile events include the 14th Annual Western Colorado Senior Games (Grand Junction; Aug. 20-26), 39th Season of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra (Aug. 27-April 22) and the 11th Annual Montrose Oktoberfest (Oct. 1).

For more about the joys of Grand Junction, go online here.

Paddleboarding Colorado River


2016 Colorado Getaway Guide

Go Play Grand Junction

Grand Junction/Montrose: Activities, Restaurants & Wineries

Grand Junction’s Reds, Whites and Greens

Chris Duthie is a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer. Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via