Bless the Rains Down in Grand Junction: Top 5 Things to Do this Summer on the Western Slope
By Chris Duthie
Now that summer monsoons are nourishing fairways and cooling temperatures statewide, it’s high time to plan a well-deserved weekend escape to one of Colorado’s most transformative regions, the Western Slope environs of Grand Junction, Delta and Montrose.
Characterized by high desert plateaus, vibrant farmlands and panoramic natural wonders — chief among them the Colorado River, Colorado National Monument, Grand Mesa and Black Canyon of the Gunnison — this Grand Valley getaway offers a cornucopia of vacationing enticements.
What makes it extraordinary? Here are five suggestions that will have you returning again and again to the Grand Valley:
1) Grand Junction golf is pulse-quickening
Pack the clubs and head straight for 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 GJ challenges include 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.
2) Delta and Montrose golf is equally superb
About 40 miles south is Delta’s Devil’s Thumb Golf Club (Rick Phelps) and Cedaredge Golf Course. And in Montrose, located another 22 miles south, the courses to play include Black Canyon, semi-private The Bridges (Nicklaus Design) and members-only The Links at Cobble Creek (Craig Cherry).
Insider tips: Golfers can take full advantage of tempting regional daily fee discounts featured in the multi-benefit, 64-course Colorado AvidGolfer Golf Passport.
3) This is Colorado’s Wine Country
The Grand Valley is home to nearly two dozen wineries, many of which are accessible by bicycle. In verdant Palisade, gateway to the Fruit & Wine Byway, stop by Rapid Creek Cycles & Paddleboards and rent a basket-equipped cruiser for hauling bottles of wine and fresh produce picked up along the way.
4) Summer shindigs are an annual tradition
Upcoming Grand Junction events include the 2018 Mesa County Fair (July 24-28), The Gala of Royal Horses (July 25), Rocky Mountain Race Series at Powderhorn (Aug. 3-5), the Lands End Hill Climb (Aug. 11-12), Palisade Peach Festival (Aug. 17-18) and the Western Colorado Senior Games (Aug. 20-26). There are also fun-steeped county fairs in Montrose (July 23-28) and Delta (Aug. 5-12).
5) Bring you cross trainers
Out here, premier outdoor recreation is second nature and includes bushwhacking favorites like Colorado National Monument (Free Admission Day is on Colorado Day, Aug. 3); 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.
Grand Junction is four hours due west of Denver via I-70. For more vacation opportunities in the Grand Valley area, go online to VisitGrandJunction.com.
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 coloradoavidgolfer.com.
Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com.
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