Colorado's Western Slope: Intro

After one of the worst winters Colorado has seen since records have been kept, our family of explorers was ready to visit a new area of the state. Ideally a place that's a little warmer, yet still has close connections to our beloved Montanans.

We've been exploring Southwest Colorado for well over a decade. We've been to the annual FJ Summit more often than not, and Telluride is one of our favorite places to visit.

Travelers from the Denver and all points East/Northeast generally make the trek down I-70 then south at Grand Junction to visit the San Juans, and we had been through the last "big" city in Colorado a few times. We never really stopped to look around though.

So this year we planned our 2019 Memorial Day trip to the Western Slope. We booked an RV Park in Clifton, an eastern suburb of Grand Junction.

Colorado Western Slope May 2019 RV Setup

Our activities for this first visit were limited to getting a lay of the land. We found a great downtown area complete with restaurants, bars, and plenty of activities for the kids.

Grand Junction is also right next to Palisade, the home of Palisade Peaches and also the center of Colorado Wine Country. Although it was a it early in the season for peaches, we were able to visit a couple of vineyards. We were even lucky enough to witness the grand opening of the Book Cliff Vineyard Tasting Room.

Colorado Western Slope May 2019 Book Cliffs Vineyard

One of our waitresses mentioned that there was a "back way" to the prominent Mt Garfield, the highest point in the area. We tried the route in our new-to-us 2018 Toyota Tundra...and managed to mangle the factory side steps. A lift and proper armor will make that off-toad trip more successful next time.

Colorado Western Slope May 2019 Mt Garfield Grand Junction

Colorado Western Slope May 2019 Off Road

Our last adventure for this trip was to check out a little bit of the local biking scene. Fruita, just a few miles west of Grand Junction and very close to the Utah border, is known as an epic mountain biking destination. While our little WellRoundedTravelers are not yet downhill enthusiasts, a quick tour of the bike trails along the Colorado River fit our abilities perfectly.

Colorado Western Slope May 2019 Biking Trails

So Grand Junction and the greater Western Slope area seem to have it all:
Wine Country - Check
Off-Road - Check
Biking - Check

Colorado Western Slope May 2019 Redlands Mesa

It looks like we'll be spending quite a bit more time out this way. Who knows what other grand adventures we'll find!

Our July 2019 Visit: