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Visit Grand Junction with Hotel Maverick


Want to have an awesome weekend on the Western slopes of Colorado? Then Grand Junction is the place for you! Here is your guide to everything you should know to make the most of your time in GJ!


Grand Junction borders Utah and is a great gateway to exploring Moab or just delving more into the desert climate of Colorado. That being said it is dry and definitely can get hotter than other parts of Colorado! Drink lots of water and always pack layers for a trip to this area.


Where to Stay:

We were hosted by The Hotel Maverick and had the best time! The hotel sits next to the campus of Colorado Mesa University with gorgeous views of the surrounding mesas. Their hotel is pup friendly and has incredible amenities including a hot tub, rooftop views, on site gym and access to the campus gym, 2 on site eateries, bike rentals, discounts to campus events, and more!



But the best part was easily Devil’s Kitchen. This gourmet restaurant has incredible views, a menu inspired by the region, and the food was AMAZING! You can't beat tableside flambe bananas foster. Even if you don’t stay in the hotel I highly recommend grabbing a meal here. It was so worth it.


So what is there to do in Grand Junction?? Here is your itinerary!


Day 1:

The drive from Denver to Grand Junction will take you about four hours, but there is a lot to see along the way! To maximize your time and beat the traffic I recommend leaving early this day and getting on the road.


Stop at Rifle Falls State Park

This state park blew us away. We went at the perfect time in late May, so the falls were really flowing and the wildflowers were just starting to pop. The falls themselves are just a short walk from the parking area, but there are several trails here to explore. It will cost you $10/day or to save money, you can register for an annual state parks pass for just $29 when you renew your Colorado vehicle reservation!


In this area you will also find Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap state parks. You can easily hit all 3 for a short trip at each, or you could pack a picnic and sit along the shores of Rifle Gap for hours. A lot of people go boating here as well. One pass gets you in to any of the three for 24 hours so you can come and go as you choose.


As an alternative, Hanging Lake can be accessed from this area as well. But this requires reservations, so plan in advance. I enjoyed the small amount of people at Rifle Falls and consider it a bit more of a hidden gem of Colorado!


From here continue on and get settled in Grand Junction for the evening.


Day 2: Explore Grand Junction

Get another early start because there is so much to do here!


Start with a hike at the Devil’s Canyon trailhead. This area is near the Colorado National Monument, but unlike the trails in the monument, this trail is dog friendly. We loved this as a way to tire out Kenai before we headed to the Monument itself. There are trails that connect in so many ways, so you can make this hike as short or long as you want.


Head to Colorado National Monument

This beautiful canyon comes complete with over 20 miles to drive point to point and trails galore to explore. Dogs are allowed on the paved pullouts but must be leashed at all times. We just stopped and enjoyed the lookout views, but I have heard great things about the Ute Valley Trail, especially for sunset. This is another reason we loved staying at Hotel Maverick, as the monument was just a short drive away!


From here, you can either go back to the hotel and relax, or you can keep on driving all the way to the top of Grand Mesa! If you choose to drive, you’ll ascend a gorgeous road up into more mountainous terrain. We went from the desert where it was 88 degrees to the top where there was still a ton of snow, and it was fun to experience so much in a single day. Keep your eyes peeled for elk, and make a stop at Mesa Lakes for a beautiful view. Just know this is about 1.5 hours each way from Grand Junction, so it definitely adds time to your day!


An alternative to this is to visit Grand Escalante or the Wild Horse area. Both are on my to do list for next time I am in Grand Junction!


Day 3:

Sip some vino in Palisade

There are so many vineyards here to choose from, and over the years I have been to a few and always enjoyed it. This time around we visited Colterris. They have tasting flights, and the view from here is hard to beat! Their patio is also pup friendly as well. And if it is the right season, definitely grab some ripe Palisade peaches from one of the many local fruit stands. Pricey but delicious!


On the drive back, if you still aren’t tired from your weekend, take a stop in Dillon or Frisco for a quick hike to stretch your legs. Looking for some awesome hikes in Colorado? Check out my Instagram Reels tab! And click here for everything you need to be prepared and stylish on the trails this summer.


Have I convinced you to visit Grand Junction yet? This is such an underrated part of Colorado, and it definitely deserves a visit. So grab a room at Hotel Maverick here, and enjoy this beautiful part of Colorado for yourself!


As always, drop any questions in the comments below and subscribe to the blog to stay up to date on all the latest adventures. Happy trails, adventure fam!


I was hosted in exchange for media production for this stay

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