Hiking These Trails Won’t Take You Far From Home
With any luck, you'll enjoy a little time for yourself this 4th of July holiday. It goes without saying you'll have sunny skies and hot temperatures. Take a look at ten hikes you should consider for this holiday weekend.
For our purposes today, let's focus on trails in the Grand Junction, Palisade, and Fruita areas. The trails listed below are moderate level hikes and are accessible to almost anyone. In no particular order:
#1 - Lunch Loop
This trail system offers dozens of excellent hikes. All ultimately return to the parking area at the trailhead.
#2: Palisade Rim
Yoga is not required to hike this trail. In the event you're in as bad a shape as I am, it is actually discouraged. You will find excellent trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Word to the wise - leave early. This trail offers shade in the early hours and scorching direct sun in the midday.
#3: Mt. Garfield
The image below captures what most consider to be the difficult part of the climb. The trail is excellent, but the lower portion is steep. If burning thighs is your kind of thing, then you'll love this trail.
#4: Old Kiln Trail
This hike is the best-kept secret in the Valley. The hike itself is extremely short and fairly uneventful. They payoff, however, is well worth it. The kiln is hard to spot. Mother Nature has it well hidden. Your best bet is to start at the trail head and keep your eyes open to the north. Ignore most any trail guides you find online. Most show the wrong location for this trail, here are the proper directions.
#5: Mica Mines
This is an excellent hike for all ages and skill levels. With the exception of a few shelves at the beginning, the trail is fairly simple. The only drawback to this trail is its popularity. It can get crowded, so plan your hikes for earlier or later in the day.
#6. Old Spanish Trail
In many ways, this trail is something of a dud. Nothing really happens. On the other hand, it makes for an excellent "walk" and offers plenty of privacy. The neighbors on Orchard Mesa were very generous in donating the land for the parking area.
#7: Gunny Loop
#8: Ribbon Trail
Head up Little Park and keep going past the Mica Mines and past the Old Kiln Trail, and you will find the parking area for the Ribbon Trail. This is an interesting hike with a few challenges.
#9: Rough Canyon
This trail is located right next to the Mica Mines. It's fun, fairly easy, and offers excellent views. The trailhead is only a few minutes drive from downtown Grand Junction.
10: Riverfront Trail
This one is somewhat obvious but probably deserves the most consideration. There are several great sections of this trail. Hike one each day. One suggestion before you leave - bring bug spray. Keep your eye out for wildlife.
There you go, ten suggestions for convenient Grand Junction area hikes. All are within minutes of downtown Grand Junction. Why travel out of town when we have these awesome, and severely underutilized, trails right here in our own backyard?