Rocky Mountain Hotel near Whitewater Rafting and Colorado National Monument
Grand Junction is located at the spot where the Rocky Mountains meet the high desert, on the western slope of Colorado. The city's picturesque setting—studded with red-rock canyons and rushing rapids—appeals to a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts, who descend upon the rugged landscape year-round. The Grand Vista Hotel sits in the heart of this recreational hub near the Colorado National Monument, where bighorn sheep and golden eagles share the sandstone cliffs with hikers and bikers.
The area is well known for whitewater rafting on the Colorado and Green Rivers—guests of the Grand Vista Hotel can book an excursion that departs right from the hotel lobby. Afterward, unwind in one of the newly renovated standard guest rooms, which are outfitted with comfortable chairs and cable TV.
Oliver's Restaurant, located just off the lobby, serves a breakfast that includes scrambled eggs, waffles, and fruit from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. daily. At the lively Bailey's Lounge, bartenders whip up a complimentary cocktail for each guest. The pub stays open until 11 p.m. on all night except Friday and Saturday, when it's open until 1 a.m., and hosts themed happy hours and karaoke nights.
Grand Junction, Colorado: Red-Rock Canyons and Outdoor Recreation in Colorado Wine Country
Grand Junction was incorporated in the 1880s as a frontier outpost along the railroad between Denver and Salt Lake City. Perched about 4,500 feet above sea level, the town lures outdoorsy types who come to whitewater raft the Class IV rapids of the Colorado River and mountain bike the challenging Kokopelli’s Trail. To the east of Grand Junction lie the forests of Grand Mesa, and to the west, the red-rock canyons of Colorado National Monument. At the latter, the 23-mile-long Rim Rock Drive circumnavigates the vast canyon, offering aerial views and white-knuckle turns along sheer drop-offs. You might glimpse a desert bighorn sheep maneuvering the steep cliffs or a golden eagle soaring overhead.
When the snows falls, cross-country skiers and snowshoers head to the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests for picturesque, groomed trails. Powderhorn Mountain Resort is a local favorite, averaging 250 inches of snowfall per year across 63 trails.
Grand Junction is also a cultural hub. Head to Main Street to browse art galleries, shop at boutiques, and dine at independent restaurants. You’ll notice the town’s impressive collection of more than 100 outdoor sculptures lining the sidewalks. Thanks to its optimal grape-growing conditions, Grand Junction is also a critical part of Colorado's wine country. Throughout the Grand Junction area, there are more than 20 vineyards and wineries that serve samples of award-winning chardonnays and merlots.
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