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A Two Helmet Day in Grand Junction, Colorado

Grand Junction is known as a mecca for outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Surrounded by seventy-six percent public land, totaling 1.5 million acres, the plethora of open space provides a serene respite for those looking for a getaway steeped in nature and no crowds.


While the rest of Colorado is covered in snow during the winter months, Grand Junction remains dry in town. Thanks to the temperate climate, 300+ days of sunshine and thousands of miles of nearby trails, you can enjoy your favorite summer activities around the city, and then you can also venture out 45 minutes east to experience the world-renowned snow sports that Colorado is known for. Skip the busy ski towns and high-end resorts and experience an affordable two-helmet day in Grand Junction.


Hiking & Biking


Winter in Grand Junction is one of the best times of the year to get out and explore due to the cool and comfortable sunny weather. Hike in sneakers and a hoodie while exploring over 43 miles of trails in Colorado National Monument. For an easy and rewarding hike, check out Canyon Rim Trail. This beginner-level trail offers scenic vistas of the canyon and is perfect for the kiddos.


If it is too cold for a hike, you also have the option to take the 23-mile scenic Rim Rock Drive – it’s like hiking from your car. With multiple places to stop, scenic overlooks steps away from where you park, and stunning views around every corner, the Colorado National Monument deserves a spot on your list of places to explore this winter. On the rare occasion it does snow in Colorado National Monument, the contrast of the bright white snow against the red-rock canyon walls is truly a magical sight worth seeing. Rim Rock Drive is always plowed extremely well during the winter months - just drive slow, keep your eyes on the road and use the pull-offs to take in the breathtaking beauty.


For your two-wheeled winter adventure, the Lunch Loops mountain biking area is a local favorite as residents ride just two miles from Downtown on their lunch break for a quick spin. Warm up on the pump track and then hop on the Big Sister Loop  - an excellent trail for intermediate mountain bike riders who are looking for technical sections to add variety to their ride. Lunch Loops has over 20 miles of looping and intersecting bike trails so you won’t get bored! Once you’ve hung up your bike helmet, head Downtown for a bite to eat and a local brew. For some nightlife action, check out Good Judy’s – they host special events every month including drag shows and dance parties. This nightclub welcomes the LGBTQIA+ community and fosters an atmosphere that prioritizes safety, comfort, and the freedom for individuals to openly express their identities. Embracing diversity, inclusiveness, and equality, Good Judy’s opens its doors for people of all identities and encourages everyone to authentically be themselves.


Winter Wonderland


The best part about winter in Grand Junction is that you can go from hiking and biking to enjoying all the Colorado snow sports you expect. With just a short 45-minute drive from Grand Junction to the Grand Mesa, the largest flat-top mountain in the world, you are transported to a winter wonderland. With an average of 250 inches of snow per year, the Grand Mesa offers all the winter sports you can imagine. Snow activities are popular through April even though daffodils and tulips are already in full bloom in Grand Junction at this time.


Experience world-class Colorado skiing at Powderhorn Mountain Resort, which offers affordable pristine skiing and snowboarding - all without the crowds you find at other Colorado ski resorts. Locals are uber friendly and don’t be surprised if you see more Carhartt’s than Patagonia on this mountain. Powderhorn is also known for the best tree skiing in Colorado. Closing day is April 7, 2024 so don’t delay!


If Nordic skiing is more your speed, the Grand Mesa has three professionally groomed cross-country ski areas with over 31 miles of trails to explore. Plus, your pup can join in on the fun! Prefer to stay away from skis? The Grand Mesa has you covered here too. Strap on your snowshoes and explore the expansive terrain or trudge next to the cross-country trails. Looking for speed? Grease up the toboggan and race your friends on the old ski hill. Last, but not least, dip your line in one of the 300 alpine lakes on the Grand Mesa. Grab your auger, your favorite bait, and some good friends for a day of ice fishing and then fry ‘em up in a pan!


You might be thinking you can’t stay long enough to fit all of these fun activities into a couple of days. Good news – Grand Junction’s lodging is super affordable and there are 32 hotels and hundreds of vacation homes to choose from. So stay an extra night or two, you won’t regret it!


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