The Colorado National Monument under the clear blue sky in Grand Junction

21 Best Things to Do in Grand Junction (in 2022)

Grand Junction is the biggest city on the Western Slope and ranks as one of the best places to visit in Colorado. It’s full of activities and attractions, including hiking, mountain biking, shopping, and lots more. 

I’m a Colorado local, and I’m here to help you discover the best things to do in Grand Junction! Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, history, and culture, or tasty eats, the Grand Junction area has something for you.

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

21 Best Things to Do in Grand Junction

Colorado National Monument

See the striking red rock canyons and wide open skies people dream of when they imagine the west

Scenic view of the cliffs in Colorado National Monument
The Colorado National Monument is easily the most photographed place in western Colorado.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 858-2800 | Website | Hours: Open 24 hours/day, 7 days/week | Entrance: $25 per vehicle

If you can only pick one thing to do in Grand Junction, let it be this. The Colorado National Monument features red rock formations and beautiful, sheer canyons. You may spot bighorn sheep or eagles flying high above. 

While at the Colorado National Monument, don’t miss the Rim Rock Drive. It provides a great overview of the area and is one of the best road trips in Colorado

👉 Pro Tip: You can nab an America the Beautiful pass at REI, which allows admission to the Colorado National Monument, plus national parks, grasslands, and more! REI also donates 10% of the proceeds back to national forests and parks. 

Downtown Grand Junction

Old meets new with historic buildings housing trendy boutiques, restaurants, and up-and-coming artists’ galleries

An old bike displayed in Downtown Grand Junction
Grand Junction has quaint streets to wander! (photo: randy andy / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 245-9697 | Website 

In downtown Grand Junction, you’ll find places to eat and shop, along with plenty of art galleries. In fact, the area is a Colorado Certified Creative District. Along with the galleries and artisan-owned shops, look for sculptures along the street. On First Fridays, art galleries stay open late for more browsing, and several offer snacks and wine tastings.

If you’re still looking for a hotel, downtown is also one of the best places to stay in Grand Junction.

Grand Mesa

Hike and bike the largest flat top mountain in the world

View from the Grand Mesa in Colorado during autumn season
Fall on Grand Mesa is beautiful!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 856-4153 | Website | Visitor Center Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily from Memorial Day – Labor Day 

Hiking and mountain biking trails allow you to enjoy the beauty of the Grand Mesa that overlooks Grand Junction. To plan your outing, stop at the Grand Mesa Visitor Center to learn about all the outdoor activities in the Grand Mesa National Forest. 

👉 Pro Tip: As with many parts of Colorado, bugs can be an issue at certain times of the year! On hikes, we use this Ranger Ready spray which repels bugs without harsh chemicals or bad smells. 

Palisade

Enjoy Colorado’s wine country (and sample other tasty produce, too!)

A vineyard with a view of Grand Mesa in Grand Junction

📍 Google Maps | Website 

Colorado’s Western Slope is known for its agriculture and is home to Colorado Wine Country. Palisade, located next to Grand Junction, is particularly known for its delicious wines. It’s also known for the Palisade peaches which we Coloradans eagerly wait for each summer. Tour some of the many area wineries, or head to the Palisade Peach Shack to pick your own tasty fruit. 

👉 Pro Tip: Wondering what to pack for your trip to Colorado? Check out Abigail’s packing list, which includes those items many of us forget when we hit the road!

James M. Robb Colorado River State Park

Get out on the Colorado River at this western Colorado State Park

The James M. Robb Colorado River State Park during sunrise

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 858-9188 | Website | Hours: 5 am – 10 pm daily | Entrance: $9 vehicle pass

At the Colorado River State Park, you can spend a day kayaking or canoeing while taking in the gorgeous scenery. There are also ponds and the river for fishing, and trails for hiking and mountain biking. 

Cross Orchards Historic Site

See Colorado’s agricultural heritage up close

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 242-0971 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 3 pm Thurs & Fri, 8 am – 3 pm Sat | Entrance: Free

The Cross Orchards Historic Site has historic buildings and equipment to teach visitors about what it took to grow crops in the late 1800s. In fact, the 1890s barn and bunkhouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site is free, but on Saturdays, there is a ride-on train that costs $3 for adults and $2 for kids. 

Powderhorn Mountain Resort

Ski or enjoy summer outdoor activities at an affordable, family-friendly resort

View of ski lift and runs in Powderhorn Mountain Resort
(photo: Linda Armstrong / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 268-5700 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm daily | Entrance: beginning at $59, adults, beginning at $29 under 13

Powderhorn Mountain Resort is one of the best ski resorts in Colorado. It’s perfect for families, college students on a budget, or anyone trying to make their money stretch. Lift tickets are affordable, and the small resort makes it easier for parents to keep track of their kids. In summer, the slopes turn into downhill mountain biking trails.

👉 Pro Tip: After a day of skiing or biking, nothing beats soaking in one of Colorado’s best hot springs!

Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area

See these majestic animals roaming free

Wild horses wandering in Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area
You’ll find herds of wild horses sprinkled throughout the west.

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: sunrise – sunset

Colorado is home to several herds of wild horses, including one close to Grand Junction. This particular herd has palominos, grays, bays, and a variety of other breeds so you’ll likely see a variety of horses. They’re also rather used to people, and may even pose for a photo or two if you’re careful and keep your distance.

👉 Pro Tip: If you’re trying to figure out when to plan your Colorado vacation, be sure to check out my advice on The Best Times of Year To Visit Colorado! 

Grand Junction Motor Speedway

Indulge your need for speed on this outdoor sprint kart track

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 256-0107 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 6 pm Tues – Thurs, 9 am – 7 pm Fri – Sun, Closed Mondays | Entrance: From $30 per race

The Grand Junction Motor Speedway makes for a great family activity, or a creative date idea if you both love a good adrenaline rush! The road racing circuit is almost a mile long, featuring straights where you can build up speed, followed by hair-raising, hairpin turns. 

Dinosaur Journey Museum

Learn about Colorado’s prehistoric inhabitants at this hands-on museum

View from the Dinosaur Journey Museum during sunset
Dinosaurs once inhabited Fruita, Colorado, and the surrounding area. (photo: Francesco Cantone / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 242-0971 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: $9 for adults, $5 for children

At this museum, you’ll get to experience an earthquake, make your own dinosaur tracks, and uncover dinosaur bones at a simulated quarry site. Dinosaurs once roamed the area, and here, you’ll learn about the ones that lived on Colorado’s Western Slope. Real fossils and reconstructions create intriguing, interactive exhibits. 

👉 Pro Tip: Before your travels through Colorado, be sure to check out our list of Denver museums! 

Main Street Bagels

Grab a bagel and people-watch downtown for a while

Tables and chairs outside the Main Street Bagels
A great spot for people-watching! (photo: randy andy / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 241-2740 | Website | Hours: 6:30 am – 2:30 pm Mon – Fri, 7 am – 2:30 pm Sat

Main Street Bagels is housed in a quaint brick building in downtown Grand Junction. In the morning, treat yourself to a bagel while you decide what things to do in Grand Junction that day. They also serve coffee, sandwiches, soups, and salads, so it’s a great lunch spot while you’re out and about, too.  

Mountain Biking

Challenge yourself with Grand Junction’s network of awesome trails!

A woman enjoying mountain biking in Joe’s Ridge
Mountain biking Joe’s Ridge.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 244-3044 | Website | Hours: sunrise – sunset

Grand Junction’s mesas and rock formations make it the perfect place for outdoor adventures like mountain biking! The Lunch Loop trails at the Tabeguache Trailhead are a popular choice that promises beautiful views and some tricky terrain. Joe’s Ridge is another great ride with easy climbs and some fun downhills.

👉 Pro Tip: Colorado is full of wonderful, unique places. Check out my list of fun & interesting facts about this amazing state! 

Western Colorado Botanical Gardens

Wander through a variety of gardens and visit a butterfly pavilion

Close up view of a frog in Western Colorado Botanical Gardens
You won’t just see flowers at the botanical gardens!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 245-9030 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm Tues – Fri, closed Sat – Mon | Entrance: $5, adults, $3 under 12

At the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens, there are several different gardens including a tropical rainforest and a succulent garden. There’s also a children’s secret garden to explore, along with a butterfly pavilion. 

Eureka! McConnell Science Museum

Spark kids’ interest with this science museum made just for them

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 254-1626 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 4 pm Tues – Sat, 12 pm – 4 pm Sun, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $7, adults, $6 under 19 

This Grand Junction science museum is geared towards kids. It features fun things like a space shuttle simulator, a bubble exhibit, and experiments involving shadows and water. Hands-on demonstrations and experiments take center stage, so kids won’t get in trouble for messing with these museum exhibits!

Museum of the West

Check out a brief history of the west at this Grand Junction museum

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 242-0971 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 4 pm Tues – Sat, Closed Sun & Mon | Entrance: $7, adults, $5 children

This museum covers everything from ancient tools used by the Anasazi to a 1958 Cessna from Walker Field in Grand Junction. Visitors can check out a one-room schoolhouse and visit an old-time saloon at this museum as well. 

🚗 Planning a road trip? If you’re traveling through Colorado by car, check out Abigail’s recommended Colorado road trip itinerary to several Colorado landmarks and hot spots! 

Raft the Colorado River

Spend a day admiring Colorado’s landscape from the water

Aerial view of the river in Grand Junction

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 858-9555 | Website | Entrance: from $45 for adults, $35 for children 

Rimrock Adventures leads float trips and whitewater rafting trips on the nearby Gunnison and Colorado Rivers. You’ll find Colorado River rafting tours just east in Glenwood Springs, too. For those experienced and adventuresome, you can also kayak or canoe downriver on your own. 

Chipeta Golf Course

Play a quick nine holes or a full game at this Grand Junction oasis

View from the Chipeta Golf Course in Grand Junction

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 245-7177 | Website | Hours: 7 am – 8 pm daily | Entrance: from $14

The Chipeta Public Golf Course is available for anyone to play a round or two. To really mix things up, try their footgolf course – a mix of golf and soccer. 

Big Dominguez Canyon

See petroglyphs and wildlife in this scenic, remote canyon

View from the Big Dominguez Canyon under the clear blue sky
Dominguez Canyon is a great spot for hiking, camping, and swimming!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 244-3000 | Website 

Big Dominguez Canyon has many scenic hiking trails, several of which lead to beautiful waterfalls. You may spot bighorn sheep in the canyon, along with petroglyphs and rock shelters from long ago. 

The Art Center

Browse more than 300 works of Western Colorado art

Close up view of paint brushes on a pallette

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 243-7337 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm Tues – Sat, Closed Sun & Mon | Entrance: $3, adults, free under 13

The Art Center showcases Western Slope artists throughout the years, with both historic and contemporary pieces of art. You’ll also find rotating, themed exhibitions, along with art classes for all ages. 

👉 Pro Tip: Be sure to check out my list of tips for traveling to Colorado to help you know what to pack and how to prepare!  

Enstrom Toffee and Confectionery

Treat yourself to a Grand Junction sweet confection

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 683-1000 | Website | Hours: 7 am – 8 pm Mon – Fri, 8 am – 8 pm Sat, 10 am – 4 pm Sun

Enstrom Toffee and Confectionery has been a Grand Junction staple since the 1960s. Stop in at the original store and treat yourself to their renowned almond toffee, butter toffee, and other chocolate confections. 

The Avalon Theatre

Catch a show at one of the largest performing arts venues in Colorado

The Avalon Theatre building from the outside
(photo: Michael Rosebrock / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 263-5757 | Website

This historic Avalon Theatre was built in 1923 and hosts singers, dance performances, theater productions, and movies. The theater has room for more than 1,000 guests, and its updated layout ensures everyone can see the stage and hear the performances well. 

FAQs About Grand Junction Activities

What is Grand Junction Colorado known for?

Grand Junction Colorado is known for being Colorado’s wine country. The area is perfect for growing grapes and peaches, and there are many wineries in town and in nearby Palisade.

Grand Junction is also the biggest Colorado city on the Western Slope, and it’s the halfway point on a drive from Denver to Salt Lake City. 

Is Grand Junction worth visiting?

Grand Junction is worth visiting. The city is home to many wineries and orchards. It’s also the home of the Colorado National Monument, with breathtaking views of the canyon and striking red rocks. The Grand Mesa is the largest flattop mountain in the world and features beautiful lakes and mountain views. 

A rail road bridge over the Colorado river in Grand Junction

Is it safe to visit Grand Junction Colorado?

It is mostly safe to visit Grand Junction, Colorado. The city has a higher crime rate than the national average; however, many of those crimes are not against tourists. Of the violent crimes in the city, about one-third were against strangers. The city also has a high rate of property crime and shoplifting.

When you travel to Grand Junction, take the same precautions you would when traveling anywhere. Be sure to lock car and hotel doors, stay in well-lit areas, and try to avoid walking alone at night. 

For more tips on whether it’s safe to travel in Colorado, check out Is Colorado Safe to Travel in 2022? 

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Grand Junction may not get the love that the Front Range does, but there is so much to do there that it’s definitely worth a visit! If you’ll be in Colorado for a while, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Colorado for more tips on where to travel and what to do. 

Hopefully, this list of things to do in Grand Junction has given you some great ideas for your own Western Slope vacation! 

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