The Grand Valley we call home has striking beauty around every corner, but there is even more to see when you venture an hour or two in any direction. Whether you need a solo adventure, a romantic getaway for two or a trip for the whole family, here is quick list of some of my favorite places to go and the activities that I love to do while I’m there.
1) Horseback Riding in Ouray
An hour and 45 minutes from Junction, this day trip is absolutely breath taking. There is something spectacular about taking in the mountains of Ouray from the back of a horse. It allows you to step back in time and experience the area as we would have in the early 1800’s. Although there are many businesses that offer horseback riding in Ouray, I can personally recommend checking out Bachelor Stables. Mr. Post is about as genuine as they come; his quick wit and old soul will be the cherry on top of the whole experience. To see pricing info and to book a ride, check out his website here:
2) Go for a Dip In Glenwood Springs
Although this is most likely not a new experience to most Grand Junction residents, it is always an enjoyable time. What is there not to love about relaxing in mineral hot springs on the banks of the Mighty Colorado River?! Glenwood Springs is only an hour and half up the 70 so any occasion justifies a quick trip to go soak in the springs. While you’re there check out the charming town and maybe even go hike around the beautiful mountains. For hot springs info, check out the website here:
3) Fishing on the Grand Mesa
One of my favorite weekend, or day trips. The Grand Mesa is home to over 300 lakes, each one with a unique and phenomenal backdrop. Whether you are a serious fisherman or just enjoy the refreshing outdoors, the Mesa can offer a scenic getaway that will remind you why we are so fortunate to call Western Colorado home. If time isn’t a concern, I will always recommend taking the scenic route up Lands’ End Rd. Check out maps and fishing reports here:
4) Rafting in Moab, Utah
Many Junction residents disregard the fact that we live so close to one of the most unique places in all of the Western United States. Moab offers a plethora of activities that attract people from all over the globe. We are lucky enough to have this geological wonderland in our back yard so it certainly is worth making a trip or two. Although Moab offers plenty of exciting and free experiences, if you are interested in a truly unique adventure, I suggest seeing Moab from the water on a white-water rafting trip. Check out options and bundles here:
5) Gem Hunting in Whitewater
The closest to home on the whole list. Whitewater has a handful of rock hounding sites, but my favorite is Copper Creek. Here, you can find feldspar and amethyst. I also have found small pieces of fluorite. To find Copper Creek head to Whitewater and take CO 141 towards Gateway. You’ll stay on that pretty road for 11 miles at which point you will cross a small bridge. Immediately after, you will see a dirt parking area on your left. The trail head begins on the north side of the lot. Eventually the trail crosses a wash and that is where you will have the most luck gem hunting. The area features tall cliffs, interesting rock features, sage brush and great views. Be sure to stay out of the areas that are posted private property but otherwise, happy rock hounding!!