One of the many things I recommend to guests (especially those who love to bike) is to visit Palisade, take a great ride on the Palisade Rim Trail, enjoy the views that overlook the valley and finish with a tour of the vineyards, and don’t forget to stop at the distillery for what I might say is the best Bloody Mary ever! (Or start at the Distillery, then go ride, might make you more confident on your bike…JK.) In all seriousness. Palisade is a short half hour drive from GJ, and is like a trip back in time, this cute little town is a wonderful break from the hussle and bussle of our daily lives. The relaxed atmosphere however is busy with options, from great dining, shopping and the vineyards – all are worth the visit. So. make it a day, ride Palisade Rim (or hike Stagecoach Trail or Mt Garfield) and look forward to an afternoon/evening filled with wine tasting and a fine meal. We suggest Palisade Cafe or Inari’s both have incredible food. Here is a map of Palisade Rim Trail. I might add, COPMBOA, Colorad Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association is one of the finest Outdoor Trail groups in the Nation. No kidding they have made more ground building area trails than any where. This dedicated group counts on donations to make it happen. Consider going to their site. Copmoba.org and donating to continue the work they do.
The Mica Mine trail is located off Little Park Road (perfect if you are staying at our Little Park House, but great even if you are not) Head south on Little Park Road about 4 Miles to the BLM Bangs Canyon Staging Area. The travel time from The Bottom of Little Park is about 15 minutes, the staging area is just across the cattle guard on your left, easy to find. The hike drops down a rocky set of steps to begin, but after that it is fairly flat and winds thru a stream bed. Kids and dogs love to paly in the shallow waters of Ladder Creek. The trail is 1.2 miles where you spend the last .2 miles walking on a white path of Mica, then you reach the Mine where you are surrounded by glistening white rock. It is a 2 hr hike with kids, bring a snack, enjoy the meandering and rock hunting. Sadly my photos do not do it justice…But you will really be impressed with the Mica. Another great hike, Rough Canyon, which in the early spring leads to a neat waterfall. Notice we are sitting on a large Mica Rock The canyon is great shelter from the summer sun and this hike is enjoyable even in the mid/late summer due to the shade.
I often get asked where to hike, one of the many hikes I suggest to people is to go look for the wild horses, as it is pretty unique to our area. I have gone several times in the spring and have always seen the horses, but there are no guarantees…just so you know. To get there, drive east on Interstate 70 to the Cameo Exit (No. 46) in DeBeque Canyon. Turn off the highway and travel under the interstate, then east for a short way before crossing the Colorado River in front of the Xcel Cameo steam plant. Go past the power plant and follow the BLM signs to the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area and Coal Canyon Trailhead. You start the hike traveling over a small hill, then down the other side, once over the hill you meander along a stream bed, thru safe brush, rabbit brush and in the spring an occasional stream crossing, nothing to worry about. You can hike for as long as you like, you will see the break off to Main Canyon but know whichever direction you go this is an out and back hike. Not strenuous, bring lots of water and your good camera…just in case. Download the Little Bookclifs Wild Horse Brochure here.
Grand Junction is getting very well known for the incredible (and very technical) mountain biking in our area, and now there is a race that tests the endurance and skill of the best riders. Here is some footage of last years ride… For more information visit epicrides.com
Just take one look at the Colorado landscape surrounding Grand Junction, and you’ll understand why outdoor adventures are so exhilarating here. The setting beckons enthusiasts to hike its mesas, bike its expansive selection of mountain bike trails and fish or float along its flowing rivers. And with thousands of rock formations near town, Grand Junction has become a climber’s paradise. To get a lay of the land, an insider’s perspective and all the gear you’ll need, drop in on one of the area’s great outdoor outfitters.