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Funky Tide 8
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Member since Feb 2009
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Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
I'm taking my parents out west for their first time(not counting Las Vegas once.) We have an airbnb in Grand Junction from Sunday-Friday. Planning on doing Moab, Black Canyon/San Juan mountains. Maybe Dinosaur NM.

If anyone else has any other suggestions, musts, or tips, I would be most appreciative!


ColoradoAg03
Texas A&M Fan
Denver, CO
Member since Oct 2012
4539 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
Bullfrog Marina, Lake Powell, rent a boat.
This post was edited on 9/9 at 10:38 am


Gaston
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Dirty Coast
Member since Aug 2008
29532 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
Drive to Telluride for one day.


Funky Tide 8
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re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
quote:

Drive to Telluride for one day.



Definitely going to do that. Thanks.


Funky Tide 8
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Member since Feb 2009
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re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
quote:

Bullfrog Marina, Lake Powell, rent a boat.



Not sure if we are going to make it that far into Utah. Its really not that bad of a drive time wise though, so its possible. Capitol Reef might be a possibility as well.


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CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
59753 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
quote:

Funky Tide 8


i can hook you up with a great friend of mine who lives in paonia. they have a sheep farm on the mesa with an amazing view of mt. lamborn and you can do a tour of the wineries on the mesa and downtown paonia is a quaint little town to visit too.

also moab is close enough that you should plan a day trip over there to zion or canyonlands. if you have a 4wd vehicle, you can actually drive down into the canyon and thats an experience you won't forget.


wickowick
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Member since Dec 2006
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 Online 

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
Check your drive times, some of those places look close and take forever to drive between. If you make it to Moab, Arches NP was a lot better than Canyonlands, but both can be driven with minimum hiking to see the sights. If you make the National Parks, check out the GyPSy Guide. It is an app for your phone that is like a personal tour guide


Funky Tide 8
Alabama Fan
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Member since Feb 2009
40716 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
quote:

Check your drive times, some of those places look close and take forever to drive between.


Most of what we are planning on doing is no more than a 3 hour drive.
quote:

If you make it to Moab, Arches NP was a lot better than Canyonlands, but both can be driven with minimum hiking to see the sights.


We are definitely going to go to both. I've been to both in half a day, but didn't do any significant hiking. This time I want to do a lot of hiking. Moab is close to Grand Junction, and since we'll be there for almost a week, I think that we'll have plenty of time to explore both parks.

quote:

If you make the National Parks, check out the GyPSy Guide. It is an app for your phone that is like a personal tour guide



I'll check that out, thank you!


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Funky Tide 8
Alabama Fan
Tittleman's Crest
Member since Feb 2009
40716 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
quote:

i can hook you up with a great friend of mine who lives in paonia. they have a sheep farm on the mesa with an amazing view of mt. lamborn and you can do a tour of the wineries on the mesa and downtown paonia is a quaint little town to visit too.

also moab is close enough that you should plan a day trip over there to zion or canyonlands. if you have a 4wd vehicle, you can actually drive down into the canyon and thats an experience you won't forget.






That sounds amazing, I think my parents would love that. Looks really close too. I appreciate it.

quote:

also moab is close enough that you should plan a day trip over there to zion or canyonlands. if you have a 4wd vehicle, you can actually drive down into the canyon and thats an experience you won't forget.



We will probably just hike those parks, but one day I do want to do just that. Not sure my mom has the heart for such extreme adventure. Besides, we'll be in a rental sedan.





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8thyearsenior
Houston Astros Fan
Centennial, CO
Member since Mar 2006
3900 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
quote:

We have an airbnb in Grand Junction from Sunday-Friday. Planning on doing Moab, Black Canyon/San Juan mountains. Maybe Dinosaur NM. If anyone else has any other suggestions


Are you planning on driving back to GJ each night? If so that is a ton of driving and I highly suggest you reconsider your plans.

You should stay in the mtns when you go to the San Juans at least one night. You could drive down to Ridgeway then over to Telluride then down to Durango. The Strater is nice. Then up through Silverton and Ouray the next day on your way back.

Colorado National Monument in GJ is really cool and worth 2 hrs.


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Funky Tide 8
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Member since Feb 2009
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re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
quote:

Are you planning on driving back to GJ each night? If so that is a ton of driving and I highly suggest you reconsider your plans.



Doesn't seem like a ton of driving.

the Moab NPs are less than 2 hours away from GJ.

Black Canyon is less than an hour and a half.

Dinosaur is 2 hours.

Telluride is 2 and half.

Am I missing something?


CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
59753 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
I think the speed limit is 80 there so that will help. Just keep your tank topped off. Gas stations are more sparse out that way.

I'll contact my friends in paonia too. They're good people


Funky Tide 8
Alabama Fan
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Member since Feb 2009
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re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
quote:

I think the speed limit is 80 there so that will help. Just keep your tank topped off. Gas stations are more sparse out that way.


For sure. I have some experience driving around the Colorado Plateau, and one of my favorite parts about it is the driving. Nothing better than cruising around in the desolate, natural beauty with good music playing.

quote:

I'll contact my friends in paonia too. They're good people



Awesome. Thanks a lot, CAD.


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Funky Tide 8
Alabama Fan
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Member since Feb 2009
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re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
quote:

8thyearsenior



Still kind of want to hear your expanded thoughts on it being a bad idea to stay in Grand Junction.


8thyearsenior
Houston Astros Fan
Centennial, CO
Member since Mar 2006
3900 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
There isn't a whole lot to GJ. No real reason to stay there the whole time, its a pretty unremarkable city compared to the other spots. Plus the drive back to there from all the destinations you mentioned is pretty damn boring. I go to GJ a few times a year but it is to Mtn Bike, not for the actual city.

When/if you head down to Telluride you should really head south and do the entire San Juan Skyway route. The Silverton Ouray portion of that ride is mentioned frequently here. I think the entire ride is pretty stunning except for the part near Cortez. Mesa Verde is by Cortez and is great. Doin this from GJ and returning to GJ would be a really long and rushed day.


Funky Tide 8
Alabama Fan
Tittleman's Crest
Member since Feb 2009
40716 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
quote:


There isn't a whole lot to GJ. No real reason to stay there the whole time, its a pretty unremarkable city compared to the other spots.


I've been to GJ before, it just seems like a very central location to the things that we want to do.

quote:

Plus the drive back to there from all the destinations you mentioned is pretty damn boring.


Is it? I remember driving from Moab to CJ being a beautiful drive. And I can't imagine the drive from GJ to Dinosaur not being cool. Same with Black Canyon, and San Juans back to GJ.

I am not trying to be argumentative btw, I appreciate the input. You've made me consider other possibilities.

I'm kind of thinking about cancelling the last 2 or 3 nights in Grand Junction, and getting a place closer to Denver for the sake of convenience.

Not sure if we are going to go any further south than Telluride, but its a possibility. I would love to, but just don't if we'll have the time. I've been through Durango, Cortez, and Mesa Verde before.


cgrand
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
HAMMOND
Member since Oct 2009
18011 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
around telluride the small towns are really great...ridgway, ouray, silverton, etc. you can easily (very easily) spend 2- 3 days in that area, plus its spectacularly beautiful. telluride itself is cool but the small towns are more fun

black canyon NP is awesome, but its a 1/2 day deal at most...it's pull-offs and views.


cgrand
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
HAMMOND
Member since Oct 2009
18011 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
also agree with the assessment above of GJ...its just a town, not much to offer other than its location relative to other (better) places. the telluride/ridgway/ouray area would be a better HQ


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10207 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
I would definitely road trip it and not return to the same place. If the drive back is so great, driving a different route somewhere else should be even better right?

Driving out west is fun for a day or two, but its going to get old very quick. It also gives you a lot less time to mope around the small towns around there.

I get not changing rooms every night thing, but in this instance I think it would be worth it.


Funky Tide 8
Alabama Fan
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Member since Feb 2009
40716 posts

re: Western Colorado(Grand Junction area)
quote:

also agree with the assessment above of GJ...its just a town, not much to offer other than its location relative to other (better) places.


Yeah I mean, I get that, but we aren't going to be spending a ton of time in GJ. Its just a centrally located home-base to lay our heads at night, and its cheap. Besides, I personally think Grand Junction is a cool town.
This post was edited on 9/10 at 1:01 pm


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